Last week I shared my thoughts on Girls in ICT Day at our Toronto office. But I believe Girls in ICT Day is really about the girls and their experience, and how we can encourage more girls to enter mathematics, science and engineering.
In this spirit I asked the girls of Trafalgar Castle’s FIRST Robotics Canada team, Team FRC 1547, to share their thoughts after spending Girls in ICT Day with Cisco. The below is what they had to say.
Spending a day at Cisco was definitely eye opening for the members of FIRST Team 1547 “Where’s Waldo?” They couldn’t believe the vast world behind the seemingly simple technology we use in our everyday lives. From the Telepresence to the Speed Mentoring, the girls of Waldo were exposed to new technology, and also introduced to the many inspirational Cisco employees. The favourite parts of their day were being toured around the Cisco office, connecting with the girls in Texas and Oakville, and learning that technology is actually a very broad field.
The Cisco office is easily the most high-tech office that any of the girls have ever seen. This was evident from the state of the art TelePresence rooms, and even the elevator! The Waldo girls couldn’t believe the technology they only thought possible in movies was there before them. The girls were greeted by a Cisco employee in the reception room on the 35th floor. This room featured beautiful floor to ceiling windows, offering a great view of the lake. The sunny atmosphere of the office was reflected by the upbeat and excited Cisco employees who were eager and ready to greet us. The girls of Waldo felt instantly welcomed, and enthusiastically looked forward to the day ahead of them.
Connecting with the girls in Texas via TelePresence was a truly unique experience for the girls of Waldo. They couldn’t believe the image/sound quality that the TelePresence provided and how it actually looked like everyone was at a meeting together, even though half of the girls were thousands of miles away. They really enjoyed learning about how the other girls interact with technology and the way technology influences them in their everyday lives. Their favourite part of the TelePresence event was sharing information about their robotics team, and educating the girls a world over about FIRST, gracious professionalism and robotics.
The Waldo girls all agree that the Speed Mentoring part of the day was truly inspiring and the various Cisco employees opened the girls’ eyes to the world of technology. Before coming to Cisco, the girls were under the impression that a job in technology only applied to engineering or computer sciences. What they didn’t realize is that technology is in fact a very broad field. Many people can get involved in the technology field because this field needs engineers and scientists as well as artists, business people, and managers. This fact taught many of the girls on our team that they too could pursue a career in technology, even if it is in a non-traditional way.
Overall, the girls of Waldo loved their day at Cisco. Touring the Cisco office, connecting with other girls via TelePresence, and having the opportunity to speak with Cisco employees are things they will always remember. The day at Cisco has opened their eyes to the field of technology, and now they want to get involved in a variety of ways. They would like to thank Cisco for putting on this fantastic event, and can definitely say that what they learned will help them in the future.
My sincere thanks go to the girls of Trafalgar Castle’s FIRST Robotics Team 1547 for sharing their experiences with us.
Thank you as well to everyone who volunteered their time to make Girls in ICT Day 2013 at our office such a huge success: Francis Gotopo, Tsega Mehari, Luz Saldana, Amrew Badr, Remi Ferreres, Katie Jensen, Yelitza Rodriguez, Bill Kastelic, Simon Vaillancourt, Tiffany Hsieh, Derek Goreski, Mauricio Beltran, Victoria Venere, Jennifer Rideout, Justin Chin-You, Christine Morgan, Ingrid Usic, Ester Quattrucci, Linda Kistner, Wadih Zaatar and Genna Cargill.