November 30, 2015
30 girls from the Weakley and Obion County area gathered at UT Martin’s Paul Meek Library on Saturday for a “100 Girls of Code Academy” workshop. Participation in the course was free and made possible by a collaboration between the Northwest Tennessee Entrepreneur Center (NTEC), UTM Information Technology Services, and the UTM College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences.
Girls ranging from age 8 to 17 gathered together to learn the basics of computer science and online coding. The workshop was lead by Tennessee Tech student Samantha Williams, a computer science major and “girl of code” herself.
“This is an opportunity for young girls to explore the world of computer science and understand the importance of the industry and that it can be a lot of fun,” said Dr. Joey Mehlhorn, professor of Agricultural Economics at UTM. “There are tremendous opportunities available in computer science. This camp will hopefully spark interest early in these young women for technological related careers.”
The girls were excited to start the day by learning how to code their own games, and put their knowledge to the test by creating their own personalized online mazes.
The group was delighted with a surprise visit from UTM Chancellor, Dr. Robert Smith. Chancellor Smith gave special attention to the girls, stressing the importance of women in the computer programming field and at UTM.
“My favorite thing that I learned how to do is how to make a star go through a maze,” said homeschooled student Gryphon Rowland, age 9. “If they have another class, I would like to do this again.”
The second half of the day focused on website building and creating code for each girl to personalize her own webpage.
“I really enjoyed creating code for a website and actually being able to build my own,” said Westview student Keondra Shanklin, age 15. “I haven’t really considered computer science as a future career, but after doing this workshop it is definitely something to consider.”
“I thought doing this class would help me better my future,” said Westview student Alyssa Scott., age 16. “my favorite part was being able to build my own maze online. I would definitely like to attend this class again.”
An exciting aspect about the program is that all of the games and websites the girls created during the workshop are accessible to them outside of the course so they can continue to use and work on them from home.
Instructor Samantha Williams expressed her excitement about the possibilities workshops like these open to young girls, not just in the computer science field, but also in life.
“My hope for what the girls took away from this experience is that, believe it or not, they can too. That’s what I want more than anything for them. Not just that they can teach themselves computer programming, but that they can teach themselves anything. That’s something you need in life.”
NTEC and UTM say they hope to partner up again to host another local Girls of Code Academy workshop in the near future. They would like to extend a special thanks to the UTM Paul Meek Library staff and Alan Franklin, UTM director of Information Technology Services for their help in making this event possible.
The Northwest TN Entrepreneur Center is located at 206 White Street in Martin, TN. To contact them or find out more information about their services, call 731-587-4213. This project is funded under an agreement with Launch Tennessee and the State of Tennessee.
Girls of Code: changing girls’ lives, one line of code at a time
100 Girls of Code invests in young women by providing free workshops introducing them to the world of computer science and engineering, where they create with code and engage in hands¬-on, innovative thinking. In our Workshops, coders conduct a fun and interactive learning experience that includes an introduction to computer programming, website construction, games, apps, and so much more. By the end of the workshop, girls have a better understanding of programming, the future of Computer Science, and a desire to enter into a similar career field.
Our primary goals are to spark interest in computer science, provide mentorship from women in the field, and point girls to the vast amount of resources that are available to them.
NTEC Offers CO.STARTERS – Beginning October 2015
The Northwest Tennessee Entrepreneur Center (NTEC) of Martin, TN, will offer CO.STARTERS, a nationally renowned six-week business development program that helps aspiring entrepreneurs put ideas into action and take the necessary steps in building a sustainable small business.
Learn more at http://www.ntecconnect.com/programs/co-starters
Beyond Right Now Technologies, a graduate business from the NextFarm agricultural innovation cohort program, has just taken the next step toward realizing its dream.
Beyond Right Now was recently accepted as a participant in the Jumpstart Foundry 2014 cohort class. Similarly to NextFarm and NTEC, the JumpStart Foundry is a program that helps prospective entrepreneurs take their business idea and turn it into a tangible, successful product. Additionally, JumpStart helps its participants by granting access to seed funding, providing business advice and technical assistance for crafting products or services, strengthening business models, forming operations, and implementing marketing efforts for their businesses.
Over the course of June 25 and 26, the NTEC staff and our facilitators underwent a crash course in the CO.STARTERS curriculum and facilitation training. Enoch Elwell and Rebekah Marr of CO.STARTERS in Chattanooga made the trip to oversee the training.
Joining Carol Reed and Stanton Watson of NTEC were Chris Donaldson of Tencom Services, Susan Cormia of the Ned McWherter Institute for Collaboration and Innovation, and Elizabeth Pritchett.
By Charlie Brock, for the Tennessean
"Back in January, I wrote aboutTennessee’s unique accelerator network and the collaborative statewide efforts to support the nine regional entities.
Tennessee’s statewide accelerator network, as we know it today, has been in existence for almost two years. The network was kicked off in 2012 as part of Gov. Haslam’s Jobs4TN plan with the goal of spurring more entrepreneurship across the state.
Now that we are two years out from Gov. Haslam’s announcement, let’s take a look at how far we have come, as well as the future of entrepreneurship and the accelerator network.
The NextFarm Ag Innovation Accelerator, the University of Tennessee at Martin College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, and the Mid-South School of Advanced Agricultural Lending are coming together to host an agricultural symposium. The title of this event is "Innovating for Profit: Building Rural Businesses from the Ground Up." Features of this symposium will include:
Do you need help designing and launching a website for your business?
Senator Bob Corker’s office is partnering with Google to bring a "Tennessee Get Your Business Online" event to Jackson, Tennessee on Wednesday, August 13. The event will take place from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM in The Aeneas Building at 405 East College Street.
NTEC recently announced they will offer CO.STARTERS, a nine-week program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action. CO.STARTERS programs will be held in Martin, Union City, and Dyersburg, TN.
From Courtney Corlew for Launch Tennessee's The TENN:
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 2, 2014 – Launch Tennessee today announced the 10 companies chosen to participate in this year’s cohort of The TENN, its unique master accelerator program for graduates of Tennessee’s nine startup accelerators. The TENN is sponsored by UBS, a global financial services firm with a presence across Tennessee, including the recently opened UBS Business Solutions Center Nashville.
NORTHWEST TN— In mid-September, the Northwest TN Entrepreneur Center (NTEC) launched a small business building program called CO.STARTERS in Martin, Union City, and Dyersburg. Although CO.STARTERS has only just reached its halfway point, the hopeful entrepreneurs in the program have already learned valuable insights and made vital decisions for the success of their business ideas.