Panel Highlight: Cultivating a Passion for STEM at #GGC17

We’re here! Well, not quite, but with just a few days left until #GGC17, I’m in full-on excited freakout mode, and I hope you are too. We’ve got our schedules, our apps, and we’re ready to have an amazing Con weekend.

If only we could be this calm and collected going into the Con

Over the past few weeks we’ve been giving you a preview of the amazing panels we have coming up, divided into all the themes we geeks are most passionate about. We’ve covered Social Justice, Diversity and Inclusivity, GGC After Dark, Pop Culture, Fandom, and Gaming. But as if all of that wasn’t enough to get you completely psyched for this weekend, let me introduce you to a group of panels that I am personally counting down the hours for: the STEM panels!

The original computers

Did you know that the first computers weren’t wires or blinking lights, but women? From the first computer program to sending men to the moon, women were technological leaders. So why is it so hard to find safe work environments and equal salaries for women in technology? Moderated by Asia al-Massari, the panel From Note G to NASA: Women in Coding and Programming invites you to join self-described lady-coders, Amanda End, Allison Borngesser, and Amy Wibowo, to discover what being a coder is all about!

Bugs are awesome, especially this adorable and efficient ladybug

Whether you’re squeamish around creepy crawlies or a full-on bug fanatic, the panel Different Isn’t Bad: What Bugs Can Teach Us About Being Brave will open your eyes to all the unexpected and amazing things that bugs can teach us. Meet The Bug Chicks, Kristie Riddick and Jessica Honaker, entomologists using bugs to talk about social issues like prejudice, racism, sexism, and feelings of isolation, while simultaneously teaching about insects, spiders, and their relatives. They make videos and talk with young people all over the world, inspiring bravery and open-mindedness. You’re sure to find your inner bugdork here!

Footage of me on my way to the Droid-building panel

Last but certainly not least, the panel Droid Building 101: Make Your Own Astromech!, moderated by Christine Cato, will discuss the methods used by members of the BB-8 Builders Club and Astromech builders club to create their own BB-8 and Astromech droids. The panel will include a brief history of the two clubs, the materials they used to make their droids, and a peek into how to make your own!

I, for one, am extremely ready to learn more about all things coders, bugs, and droids. I hope to see you at these incredible panels, as well as all the others we have scheduled this weekend!

The Avengers know what’s up

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Programming and Code For Low-Income Schools: It’s A Piece of Pi!

By Samantha Lee Donaldson, a guest writer for GeekGirlCon

For many students across the globe coming from low-income households, trade school courses are their life, from the first day of kindergarten to their last day of high school. The skills gap remains a global problem even now. Instead, if these students were given the ability to learn more than the basics which allow them to only receive low-wage professions, they could reverse this trend and help create an economy that reflects a growing parity in no time.

Just as doctors must take the Hippocratic oath, educators are asked to take the educator’s oath. This oath says, “I promise to seek and support policies that promote quality in teaching and learning and to provide all engaged in education the opportunity to achieve excellence.” Despite this, children who come from low-income households are often neglected and the low-income schools they attend are seldom given the amenities necessary to train these children to change the world and their lives, even though studies suggest that the key to power in the workplace is education, especially for women. Therefore, when these children are provided with sub-par education, they are ultimately set up for failure from the start and not given the tools necessary to achieve their goals in life.

Guest Contributor
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GeekGirlCon Wants Your Panel Ideas!

If you are at all familiar with GeekGirlCon, you’ve surely noticed the high standard our community has for con programming. Before being offered a slot in the GeekGirlCon lineup, all programming (panels, activities, workshops, and performances) is carefully reviewed by our excellent Programming department. This is what makes GeekGirlCon so magical and so welcoming.

Panels comprise a large portion of the programming that takes place at the con. And so, we’re always seeking new voices and new ideas for panels. Just because you haven’t seen it at GeekGirlCon before doesn’t mean we don’t want it. In fact, it likely means we need it especially!

I talked to our Panel Program Manager, Marina Martinez, to find out exactly what makes a GeekGirlCon panel. If you’ve never submitted programming ideas to GeekGirlCon before, now’s your chance. Applications close on Sunday, April 30, so take your time and let these arguably-infrequently-asked Frequently Asked Questions be your guide.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Submit a Panel for GeekGirlCon ’16: Deadline’s Coming Up!

Ever been at a convention, sitting in on a panel, struck with the realization of “I could do this!”? Do your friends often have to, politely or not, ask you to stop lecturing them about your latest passion? Is your Tumblr carefully curated and focused on a specific fandom or interest? Or, hey, do you just want to push yourself and try out public speaking?

Submit a panel idea for GeekGirlCon ’16!

Liane Behrens
“Rock On!”

Social Media Contest: Promote our Panels

Are you excited for another year of amazing GeekGirlCon panels? We know you are–and we are, too! This year, we’re offering you the chance to help us find great content in exchange for the chance to win a free GeekGirlCon ‘16 2-day pass and t-shirt. All you have to do is share our call for submissions on your social media, and you will be entered to win!

This contest will run from Thursday, March 17 to Thursday, March 31.

Winners for week one will be drawn on Friday, March 25, and winners for week two will be drawn on Friday, April 1. (No jokes, we promise!)

Contest rules:

Meagan Malone
“Rock On!”

GeekGirlCon ’15 Featured Contributor: G. Willow Wilson

We on staff at GeekGirlCon are thrilled to share that comic book writer and novelist G. Willow Wilson will be joining us as a featured contributor at GeekGirlCon ‘15 – even if she has to miss New York Comic Con to be here!

She’s one of a upcoming cadre of comic book (and other pop culture) creators who engage deeply with their fanbase, who wear their geeky fannish roots on their sleeve. She’s active on Twitter, answering fan questions and squeeing alongside us at fandom news.

Winter Downs
“Rock On!”

GeekGirlCon ’15 Programming Highlight: Doing it for Ourselves

As well as celebrating the amazing accomplishments of women in geekery, GeekGirlCon has always had a strong focus on helping women and other marginalized geeks find the tools, contacts, know-how, and resolve to achieve their own goals. In addition to our GeekGirlConnections room (we’ve already highlighted some of the organizations who’ll have tables there this October), we have a range of awesome panels and workshops lined up where you can pick up tips on everything from cosplay to community building to content creation.

Winter Downs
“Rock On!”

GeekGirlCon ’15 Annual Costume Contest!

Saturday, October 10 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm in Room 301/302

It’s your time to shine in all your geek finery at the GeekGirlCon ‘15 Costume Contest hosted by Devious Cosplay!

Tiffany – aka Devious Cosplay – has been actively cosplaying for 2 years. Before she discovered cosplay, she couldn’t even make a pillow. Her mom has been her mentor and taught her how to sew. She is 33, works full time, and has 2 children, so having a hobby that allows her to be creative and escape from the daily routine of adulthood is amazingly fun and liberating. She loves instantly having something in common with so many people. She hopes to continue to improve and make many more friends over the years. Her geek loves are video games, anything Joss Whedon, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and comic books.

The Costume Contest is open to everyone – all ages, experience levels, and fandoms. Entrants will vie for Best Individual Costume, Best Group Costume, and Best Child’s Costume.

There will also be a new non-competitive Junior Cosplay event from 5:00 pm to 5:20 pm – bring your costumed young ones to the Costume Contest for a chance to show off their nerdiness.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

GeekGirlCon ’14 Panel Recap: Diversity in Young Adult Literature

One of the five panels starting our Sunday morning at GeekGirlCon ‘14 was Diversity in Young Adult Literature. As the GeekGirlCon Strategy Guide explained, “Representation is vital for people of all races, sexualities, gender identities, and abilities. According to Malinda Lo’s 2013 Diversity in YA website, only 15% of NYT Bestselling YA Books had people of color as main characters, and only 12% of books had LGBTQ main characters. This panel will examine the market today, what readers want versus the disconnect with publisher’s diversity, and what we can do to improve the number of diverse books for teens.”

Adrienne Roehrich
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Cosplaying While Fat – GeekGirlCon ’14 panel recap

A packed panel room greeted panelists for the Cosplaying While Fat.

Panelists Jo Jo Stiletto, Wolfcat, and Mickey Schulz. Image from the GeekGirlCon Flickr

Panelists Jo Jo Stiletto, Wolfcat, and Mickey Schulz. Image from the GeekGirlCon Flickr

 

Cosplaying While Fat occurred on Saturday afternoon, with the description: “Cosplaying when you’re plus-sized presents some unique challenges. Putting together an awesome costume you’ll be comfortable in can be a real challenge for a number of reasons, including how people treat you and a general lack of ‘off the rack’ options. Come hear our panelists talk about coping with the trash talk as well as how to make what you wear look great and feel comfortable.”

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

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