News & Analysis

Girl Geek Academy launches SheMakes 2016 event to help women explore emerging technologies

- August 12, 2016 2 MIN READ

Girl Geek Academy has announced the launch of its 2016 SheMakes event, aiming to introduce more women to 3D printing, wearables, virtual reality, and making.

To be held on the weekend of September 10th at General Assembly in Melbourne, the event will give participants access to 3D printers, virtual reality gear, and other cutting edge technology which can otherwise be hard to gain access to.

Among the workshops being run at this year’s event, the third annual SheMakes, will be sessions on wearables for both beginners and those with some previous experience dabbling in the space, where they will be taught the ins and outs of wearables and how to program their creations to do what they want. Another workshop running will look at teaching participants how to assemble and get their 3D printer up and running or run diagnostics on a printer they may be having trouble with, while organisers will also be ready to give advice on what to look for when buying a 3D printer. 

The event will also feature guest speakers discussing how these technologies are changing industries, as well as interactive displays, art, and 3D printers that participants will be able to play with.

With items like 3D printers still not readily available to much of the public, initiatives like SheMakes provide a perfect opportunity for women outside the STEM landscape to spend hands on time with these technologies, and with data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that just 16 percent of people with STEM qualifications are women, every bit of access counts.

Of course, changing those statistics is what Girl Geek Academy is all about. As the organisation’s cofounder Sarah Moran previously told Startup Daily, the purpose of launching Girl Geek Academy was to “create something that was more proactive about the needs of women in the tech industry, and making sure that we’re actually building our community.”

The last event held by Girl Geek Academy was SheHacks, held on the same weekend as the female founder’s hackathon at Fishburners. The two events saw over a hundred women come together to launch new startups.

Forty hackers, hipsters and hustlers took part in SheHacks alone, with seven teams formed to solve a variety of problems. Though there were no set problems or issues given to the teams to tackle, Moran said most chose to focus on creating businesses that serviced either the social, economic or other needs of women.

Girl Geek Academy is this year kicking its mission to increase the number and visibility of women in tech up a notch, with the launch of a membership initiative and Moran officially coming on board as a full time CEO to manage the membership efforts, events, and come up with other new ideas.

You can learn find out more about SheMakes here.

Image: SheMakes Participants. Sourced: Girl Geek Academy.