Technology dudes and divas invade UA ivory towers
Nationally ranked Eller College of Management MIS department hosts summer computer camps for Tucson-area youth
TUCSON, Ariz. – June 13, 2006 – TechDivas and DigiDudes have invaded McClelland Hall at The University of Arizona. Who are these techno-buffs and what are they up to?
This summer the Eller College of Management is hosting several youth camps designed to introduce Tucson-area youngsters to Information Technology (IT). Eller College is home to one of the country’s top-ranked Management Information Systems (MIS) departments and is seeking to extend IT education to the broader community through its outreach programs.
As part of the Eller College Summer Enrichment Program for K-12 students, boys (DigiDudes) and girls (TechDivas) involved in the camps are encouraged to explore technology in different ways. The gender-specific curriculum is designed in alignment with current learning-style research.
“We separated the boys and girls because we want to make sure the kids at this early age are not intimidated and are free to ask questions. It is also important that the girls have women mentors as role models. Predispositions to certain career choices are formed early. We want a free exploration of IT in order to create awareness of its potential in multiple career fields,” commented Mohan Tanniru, department head and professor of MIS.
Back for a second year, TechDivas are exploring IT concepts through exercises that appeal to girls. In addition to digital photography and graphic design, girls are learning to create websites and digital scrapbooks, develop digital commercials with sound bites, and understand Internet safety.
“The teachers are awesome, and I met new friends,” wrote one TechDiva on her new blog. “I definitely want to come here again! I think this is maybe going to be the most fun summer ever!” she added.
Since TechDivas 2005 proved so successful, DigiDudes was added to the program this year. The DigiDudes are exploring similar IT concepts, but engaging in computer activities that are more palatable to boys, including game development, virtual reality, web cams, programming robotic cars, and graphic design. Participating boys are leaving the camp with more IT savvy and confidence.
Tyler Loomis, a counselor for the program, said that the separation of girls and boys was more conducive to teaching the boys in a more active style. “As you can see, the boys are physically very energetic. The girls are much quieter, and they beat us when we do computer knowledge competitions,” he said.
Loomis finished his Eller College degree in May and will soon be working for Infosys, an international computer software company. He will spend six months on the Infosys campus in India before returning to California. He is enjoying working with the DigiDudes this summer doing what he loves – IT. “If you get along with kids and love computers, this is a great summer opportunity,” he added.
One of Loomis’s campers expressed his excitement about the program. “My mom looked on the web to find a computer camp for me. If you love computers and your parents can’t teach you about them, you should really come here. The whole day goes by so fast it seems like only two hours,” said the soon-to-be fifth grader. Perhaps Infosys will be recruiting this ‘dude’ in twelve years.
DigiDudes and TechDivas are offered for grades 1-4 on June 5-9 and grades 5-8 on June 19-23. Registration information for these and other camp opportunities can be found online at ugrad.eller.arizona.edu/k-12/.
The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #12 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #44 in the U.S. The College leads the nation’s business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers an Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
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