What is ChickTech High School?

ChickTech High School revolves around creating events that will get high schoolers interested and excited about technology. These events pose some interesting challenges, as we expect that most of our participants have never had a chance to do anything like what we are offering. Our goal is to reach the girls who would make great engineers, but because of stereotypes and a lack of opportunity, may not realize it until they are already doing something else, if at all. We also strive to show the relevance of each workshop to their lives–and help them to understand that they have the ability use tech to transform their world!

Is this an alternative education setting or is this something students would do in addition to HS curriculum?

ChickTech is not an alternative education setting, it is meant to supplement a girl’s education by showing her what a career in tech would entail. Girls will attend the kick off event over 1 weekend and then can attend any other workshops they’d like throughout the school year (also scheduled on weekends so as to not interfere with school or extracurricular activities).

How much does it cost?

ChickTech High School is 100% free for the attending girls. We will cover the costs for the workshops, transportation from convenient central locations, food and childcare.

Is this open to home school students?

Absolutely! We’d love if you could get one of your homeschool network parents to nominate your daughter if possible though. The vote of confidence from someone other than a parent is very important to our process.

When does ChickTech High School start?

ChickTech’s high school program kick off program will take place this year in early December.

Where does ChickTech High School take place?

Our kickoff weekend location will be in Missoula.  The specific venue will be announced soon.

How long does the program last?

The kick off program is a Saturday event where we will provide transportation from convenient locations, food, child care and education for up to 100 girls.  After the kick off we will offer monthly workshops for the girls to continue their education through June.

What is included?

For our kick off weekend the girls will have access to education, food, child care (if needed) and free transportation from convenient pick-up locations.  Future weekend workshops will offer food and education.  If girls need transportation and child care we can investigate sponsors for those items on a per need basis.

What does the kick off weekend look like?

Participants will participate in one workshop of their choice for the full day of the kickoff. This allows for 5 hours of project time in one area so they can leave with a finished product they’re proud of by the end of the day. We have found this drastically increases their confidence in their abilities, their sense of community and belonging, and their interest in technology careers.

Who can participate in ChickTech High School?

Any high school student who identifies as a girl is welcome to participate. The benefit of an all-girl experience is supported by a significant body of research.

How does my daughter sign up?

Girls are all nominated by an educator. We are looking for girls who would not find tech on their own, girls who might never think of a career in tech on their own. We want educators to nominate these girls so that they see that someone believe in them and that they can follow any career path – even the one they never considered before.

Why do you need educators’ recommendations?

A crucial aspect of our program is finding young women who would not otherwise have thought of themselves as capable of succeeding in a high tech career.  As educators (teachers, troop leaders, mentors, etc), many of you have seen young women not reach their potential in STEM because they thought it was too difficult—or it wasn’t what they’ve seen women do.  By asking educators to hand-select our participants, we are giving our participants a vote of confidence: people who know them and their abilities have nominated them for this exclusive opportunity!  All of our large events fill up and have waiting lists, so we encourage you to get your list in ASAP so your students’ spaces are reserved.

Do I have to be a teacher to nominate a girl?

No you do not. We will accept nominations from mentors, troop leaders, and tutors as well. We are looking for nominations from someone who knows the potential of the girl they are nominating. Just tell us on the nomination form how you know the nominee.

What about FERPA? Doesn’t this policy prevent us from sharing information about the student?

We understand and respect educators’ need to protect student privacy.  Our nomination form only requires that you submit a student’s name and grade level.  This falls under “directory information” that does not normally need parental consent to disclose.  If the student you would like to nominate has opted out of disclosing this information, or if your school or district has more stringent student privacy policies, contact us.  We can work with you to make sure the student has an opportunity to be considered for our program without you having to disclose her information.

What is the application process?

Now – October 31, 2018: Please fill out our nomination form with the names of up to 15 freshman, sophomores,  juniors and seniors from your school who:

  1. (30%+) are eligible for free or reduced lunch
  2. Have an above-average aptitude for math or science, along with creativity and willingness to learn new things
  3. Would probably not consider a tech career without extra encouragement
  4. (2/3+) have not created technology before (i.e. who are not already on a robotics team, haven’t attended a STEM camp, etc.)

These girls probably:

  • have been actively discouraged from a career in tech in the past
  • haven’t tried out tech projects because of obstacles in their life
  • aren’t confident in their skills

For teachers nominating multiple students, feel free to email a spreadsheet with nomination information (or this form: High School Program nominations) to missoula@chicktech.org.

Nov. 1 – 10: We print letters addressed to each of the potential participants and deliver them to each school.

Nov. 11 – 18: Participants register online for the event. The event is first come, first served, although we will have a waiting list in case there are cancellations.

December: The ChickTech Missoula Kick-off Conference!

What kind of results have you seen from ChickTech High School?

ChickTech: High School has shown tremendous results:

  • 55% of our participants had no experience creating tech projects before choosing ChickTech
  • participants who felt “confident” or “very confident” in their technology skills increased from 27% to 74%
  • participants who felt “informed” or “well informed” about technology increased from 46% to 91%
  • we increased the number of high school participants who were “interested” or “very interested” in a tech career from 47% to 89% …in only one weekend.

ChickTech is a registered 501(c)3.