Girls, get your geek on

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She's Geeky Twin CitiesThis October, female techies across Minnesota will once again congregate in St. Paul to let their geek flags fly.

That’s because the She’s Geeky unConference will be taking place at the Science Museum the weekend of October 19-20. This marks the third iteration of the annual event here in Minnesota.

“The purpose is to bring women and girls of all ages together with an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the STEM-related fields,” says Liz Tupper, Managing Director for the event. “Giving them a platform to discuss whatever topics are most important to them.”

The content of She’s Geeky is somewhat fluid and unpredictable. Because of its “unConference” format, there is no pre-determined agenda; instead, the attendees create one on the day of the event. In the past, there have been presentations, roundtable discussions and informal Q&A sessions covering topics such as analytics, coding in Drupal or Ruby on Rails, girls in science programs and much more.

Outside of the Twin Cities chapter, She’s Geeky events also take place in San Francisco, New York and Washington DC. Tupper and her colleague Jacque Urick came up with the idea to bring the conference to Minnesota after attending one in DC back in 2010 and seeing how effectively it unified the female tech community.

She’s Geeky unConferences have been held at St. Paul’s Science Museum – which Tupper says has been an excellent venue – in each of the past two years, with a little over 100 attendees for each one. The goal is to stay around that number, because while it’s always good to bring in fresh faces they want to maintain a somewhat intimate setting.

Tupper credits her first She’s Geeky experience three years ago as a catalyst for her becoming an entrepreneur, as she went on to start a video game company called SieEnt soon after.

“What I found was a group of individuals who helped motivate me and point me in the right direction to make life-changing career decisions,” she says.

“A lot of people find connections or things they may not even realize they needed in their life just by attending the event, networking and being more open about what their needs are.”

Tickets for this year’s She’s Geeky are available now with an early-bird rate of $45 for one day or $75 for both. To encourage the participation of youth and family, women can buy a ticket for their daughters for only $10.

Comments

  • Cole

    Psst, Nick, I know it wasn’t meant that way, but women frequently prefer not to be called “Girls” as it’s diminutive, and this more than just for the under 18 crowd.

    • Nick N.

      Thanks for the feedback. I actually didn’t write the headline, but I would note that She’s Geeky has a sister organization called Girls in Tech (http://gitmsp.org/), which would suggest that the term isn’t viewed all that negatively.

      • Me

        Well, yes, but it’s different when it’s self-identification.

        • cole

          What “me” said. Would you use the n word to describe folks who use it in reference to themselves? I mean, obviously it’s nowhere near as offensive as that, but perhaps you could reach out to the person who writes your headlines and encourage a headline that is inclusive of people who identify as women, as the unConference is also inclusive. I appreciate that you’re taking the time to listen and discuss, Nick.

    • Jennifer

      That was my first thought too upon reading the title, just to provide another data point. In any case, thanks for sharing about the event. Sounds interesting.

  • PhysicsGirl

    Maybe I’m younger than most of these posters (under 40 – slightly), but I personally think the “girl” in the title was perhaps fitting – we associate creativity, relaxed introspection about roles and “failure”, and if nothing else, a sense of fun with youth. I, for one, hope that the unconference has a lot of Girl-iness.

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