August – 2017
The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) recently held the 10th edition of its award-winning Technology Camp for Girls in Lagos. The camp theme, ‘’Girls Build Tech’’ was with a focus for the girls this year to build with ICT, a step further from learning ICT skills to actually putting their new skills to work.
The camp this year, attracted sponsors such as Global Tech giants like Google.org and Nokia–UK via GlobalGiving, alongside Laureates College and numerous kind individuals. Also, the camp was supported by various organizations like Swift Networks, NativeSmart, Oracle, Afrilib, Access Bank, Configured Technologies and others whose technical support logistically made the camp a huge success. The camp also this time around enjoyed good media coverage publishing it by Bella Naija, TW Magazine, The Punch Newspapers, The Guardian Newspapers and The Nation Newspapers.
No fewer than 40 schoolgirls enrolled for the camp’s 10th edition, an impressive enrollment from its past editions from its inception in 2008 with just 15 girls.
The two – week residential technology camp, is the first of its kind in Nigeria, the pioneering Nigerian tech camp for girls is aimed at empowering young girls academically, socially and economically with the use of computer and information communication technology (ICT). The camp’s curriculum involves engaging young girls in technology related subjects such as learning how to build and programme robots to carry out environmental functions using LEGO MINDSTORM. They were also taught 3D design using SketchUp with which the camp participants designed their dream houses, resorts, estates and other lovely things in 3D. Afterwards, they learned how to create games with Java (a GreenFoot application) with which they eventually created and presented their own games,
Aside being a technology camp, it gave the girls room to express themselves and their passions freely without any form of condemnation, as they also had life upliftment sessions for skills involving: financial literacy, self-defense training, gender and leadership sessions, culture and language sessions, skill acquisition and other interesting extra-curricular activities in order to raise girls to be at a level that they are bright in every aspect of life.
Not left out, ensuring the girls were duly entertained and having the ultimate fun learning experience, a promise made by the camp each year, the camp treated the girls to movie nights, music, free private times in the evening, a celebrity theme variety night which came with all the trappings of a big show with red carpet arrivals, light refreshment followed by performances by the participants in drama, comedy and singing keeping each other entertained to the maximum.
All these activities broadened the horizon of the girls as it inspired them to aspire to do great things with robotics and programming in future. Some of the girls began to talk about technology related professions like Robotics Engineering, Computer Scientist, Space Engineering, Mechanical engineering, Electrical Engineering, Architecture among many others.
Furthermore, the camp’s closing had a big graduation ceremony organized to celebrate the girls, character awards (Miss Capable, Miss Congeniality, Miss Prim and Proper, Miss Courageous, Miss Leader, Miss Humor, Miss Blossom and Miss Purposeful) were presented to girls who showed consistent desirable attitudes in relating with all their fellow camp mates. Also, prizes were awarded to students who distinguished themselves in the tech sessions in camp, for this prizes were given out for both individual and group efforts in camp.
At the end of the graduation ceremony, Miss Benita Clement emerged the best overall student of the camp, for this, she was crowned taking the title – Miss W.TEC 2017. Aside from all the prizes received by the Queen during the graduation ceremony; her title comes with a yearlong tech mentorship at General Electric (GE) – Nigeria.