GeekGirlCon ’15 Panel Recap: Women in STEM

Oftentimes when we think of geeky topics, things like video games and comics come to mind. However, one of the panels set up at GeekGirlCon ’15 by GeekGirlConnections featured a mixture of women from various Washington state scholarship, seeking to answer the question, “What does it take, as a woman, to have a career in STEM?”

The panel consisted of six women working in various areas of science and technology. Erika Harnett has a Ph.D. in physics, and works in computer simulations. Erika Wagner wrote a Ph.D. how to keep humans healthy on the way to Mars, but she also added that “but now I sell rockets”. Beth Linz is a graduate of Central Washington University with a background in computer science, and now works as software engineer. Jamie Waldock holds a MA in aerospace engineering, and is a test engineer at Aerojet Rocketdyne (working on propulsion). Irina Menn is the founder and CEO of Hopela, a mobile app to connect local orgs and millennials for donation; she holds degrees in science and computer science. Finally, Christine Washburn is a professor of physics from Everett Community College.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Get your science on at GeekGirlCon ’14!

Written by Sarah “SG-1” Grant, Copy Writer

We know you’ve heard a lot about the DIY Science Zone’s return to GeekGirlCon ‘14 after their wildly successful debut at GeekGirlCon ‘13.

DIY Science

One of the DIY Science Zone tables from GeekGirlCon ’13

You may have also heard that all of our programming for GeekGirlCon ‘14 is online and ready for you to plan out your weekend to the minute.

What you haven’t heard about is the panels and programming we have coming to you for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)! One of GeekGirlCon’s goals as an organization is to encourage women and girls in these STEM fields, and we have quite a lineup at GeekGirlCon ‘14 to further our goals–and YOURS.

“Notable Women in Science” starts first thing in the morning on Saturday, October 11, at 10 a.m. in room 301. This panel highlights women in the history of science around the world, as well as discussing the role of women in science now. Adrienne Roehrich, GeekGirlCon’s own Manager of Editorial Services, is hosting this panel, and as a member of the Double X Science blog, she is the perfect person for this informative hour.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, you have a choice to make: “3D Printing 101” in room LL2, or “What’s New In Astronomy” in room 301. In 3D Printing 101, you’ll learn about this technical and creative field, and about 3D printers themselves from hosts Breanna Anderson and Ericka M. Johnson. “What’s New In Astronomy” is hosted by Drs. Nicole Gugliucci and Lisa Will, who have degrees in astronomy, physics, and astrophysics. This is not their first time with us – they guided us through plate tectonics, the making of moon craters, lunar phases (using Oreos!), and a physical model of our solar system at GeekGirlCon ‘13.


One of the slides from last year’s Edible Astronomy panel

All you coders — and anyone who wants to know more about coding — head up to room 301 at 1 p.m. Saturday for “Lady Code Warriors: The Future is Coming!” This amazing group of female coders will tell you what working in their fields is like, and answer questions you have about joining them there. The FIRST Robotics Team 2930 Sonic Squirrels will also be presenting in room 303 at 1 p.m. Saturday, if you want to take a look at what this amazing team of teeangers is doing with robotics this year and into the future.

“Pathogens for Everyone?”, at 5 p.m. in room LL3, delves into diseases in the human body, and the role that Seattle Biomed, a local non-profit, plays in combating those diseases and more. Panelists Anja Ollodart, Sally Lyons-Abbott, Suzanne McDermott will steer you through these amazing and complex questions and issues.

If that isn’t enough to get your STEM juices flowing, head over to the GeekGirlConnnections room. There are tables representing tech companies from all over Western Washington, including F5 Networks, Amazon, ArenaNet, and Isilon Storage Divison/EMC. Seattle CoderDojo, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, and the Association for Women in Science are a few of the non-profit organizations who may benefit from your help, and show you how to parlay their amazing programs into benefits for your own lives. There are several tables aimed at getting you the education you need to pursue your goals in the Connections Room as well: Northeastern University – Seattle, Cornish College of the Arts, and the University of Washington Information School.

Room 204 is hosting the GeekGirlCon ‘14 Connections Programming, which you’ll see in your Program Book in the same grids as other convention programming. These panels are geared toward making connections in the working world, whether you’re looking for a job, or just looking to make new contacts in your field. There are even two Meetups happening — social time specific for Women in Tech at 5 p.m. Saturday, and Women in Science at 4 p.m. Sunday. Make contacts you need, or meet new friends!

Seriously, folks. Come get your science on!

Sarah Grant
“Rock On!”

March 2014 Geek About Town


Hi, Readers! March is upon us and that means another full month of geekery! Here’s what’s going on in the Seattle area:

Wednesday, March 5: Steal Beans, I Fell Down, and Ultraklystron
Nerdcore’s Ultraklystron opens for Steal Beans and I Fell Down.

Sunday, March 9: Beginning Stage Puppeteering
From the Press Release: “In this fun, dynamic class, you’ll learn the foundations of good stage puppetry – focus, physical commitment and basic puppet operation. We’ll focus on how to make your puppet seem alive so they can connect with your audience. Over the 4 weeks, you’ll get lots of hands-on time with professional puppets plus a simple practice puppet to take home so you can keep working on your skills. Working in the realm of visible puppeteering, we’ll explore both arm-and-rod and live hand puppets.

Notes: No puppet experience required, please dress comfortably and be ready to move, class size limited to 12. Repeats every Sunday.


Wednesday, March 12: The Powerpuff Girls at Central Cinema
On March 12, join Central Cinema and GeekGirlCon in Townsville for a TV Dinner featuring sugar, spice, and everything nice . . . with just a dash of Chemical X. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup fight our villains in two of our favorite episodes ofThe Powerpuff Girls, while you enjoy a tasty dinner. Our villains could be Mojo Jojo or Him or the Ganggreen Gang or one of the many giant monsters that visit Townsville. Come to Central Cinema to see!

Thursday, March 13 – April 5: Bixby Elliot’s Girl You Know It’s True
When Bixby, a 40-ish playwright fails to get his work produced he conjures up a radical new identity for himself: an impostor. His stand in – an African American Lesbian woman in a wheelchair – instantly shoots to fame. Needless to say, shit hits the fan. Told in tandem with the infamous Milli Vanilli scandal, GIRL YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE is a hilarious and bold indictment of the institution of theatre and true intent behind the act of creation.  Seattle fringe veteran Ed Hawkins brings his signature spot-on savvy to the West Coast Premiere of Bixby Elliot’s funny, smart, insightful, and lively play.

Featuring a cast of local favorites, including Ian Bell as the hapless playwright, Andrew Tasakos as his patient boyfriend, Andrew Lee Creech & Corey Spruill as “Rob & Fab”, Barbi Beckett, Daniel Christensen, and Josh List as the powers-that-be, and Rebecca M. Davis as the girl who knows the truth. Scott Shoemaker and Mike Blaylock round out the ensemble. Costumes by Scarlett O’Hairdye; Choreography by Diana Cardiff; Stage Manager Tim Crist.

Friday, March 14: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse
We are an inclusive newbie-friendly group who play a wide range of modern board and card games as well as some classics. You might find King of Tokyo, Alien Frontiers, Ticket to Ride, Flash Point, Coup, Tokaido, The Resistance, Skull and Roses, Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, and many more. Bring games with you or just bring yourself. Join GeekGirlCon staffers, make some new friends, and play some games!

Saturday, March 22 – Sunday, March 23: Seattle Mini Maker Faire
Seattle Mini Maker Faire at the EMP Museum represents the fast growing maker movement sweeping the nation and shines a spotlight on the region’s diverse DIY (do-it-yourself) community. From toys and robotics, to submarines and supercars, nearly 70 makers of all ages from the Pacific Northwest will come together to create, build, plan and share their incredible inventions, hobbies, products, and DIY mentality.

Tuesday, March 25: The Damn Bass Tour with RoboRob, Dekai, Drix, featuring A_Rival, EasyHard, 9k1
From the Facebook event page: “Combined and individually, [touring acts RoboRob, Dekai, and Drix] have a hefty resume, playing over 400 shows across the United States. Opening for such acts as Tiesto, Excision, Dj Fury, Nappy Roots, Hieroglyphics, and more. These artists know how to hold their own on stage as professional DJs, as well as in the studio. Their original productions and highly praised remixes chart Beatport, iTunes, and music blogs alike, bringing you an innovative, fresh, and genre bending sound.” Join them along with local acts A_Rival, EasyHard, and 9k1.

Thursday, March 27: I Heart Comic Art: the local indie comic art benefit
From the Facebook event page: “Join us in supporting Seattle indie comic artists and graphic novelists. We are raising money to contribute to an artist grant to be awarded to a lucky local artist. All comic artist and graphic novelist artwork will be displayed at the party and event attendees (you!) vote for the winner.”

Friday, March 28GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse
We are an inclusive newbie-friendly group who play a wide range of modern board and card games as well as some classics. You might find King of Tokyo, Alien Frontiers, Ticket to Ride, Flash Point, Coup, Tokaido, The Resistance, Skull and Roses, Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, and many more. Bring games with you or just bring yourself. Join GeekGirlCon staffers, make some new friends, and play some games!

Friday, March 28: Expanding Your Horizons Conference
STEM conference for young women grades 6-8. This is a fantastic opportunity for young woman who may be interested in STEM related fields of study.  The program is for young women and the presenters are all women in the various fields.  It is a chance to meet and interact with positive role models who are active in STEM-related careers. Registration forms must be postmarked by March 14, 2014.

Friday, March 28-Sunday, March 31: Emerald City Comic-Con
From the website: “We are the premier comic book and pop culture convention in the pacific northwest! Check out the site to find the latest on everything ECCC, including lists of guests, exhibitors, artists, schedules, gaming and events! While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our original webcomic, Tales From The Con, all the photo galleries from years past and much, much more!

Do you have a geeky event to plug? Email Shubz Blalack. We are happy to feature events outside of the Seattle Metro area!
Please note: GeekGirlCon reserves the right to approve or deny any event submissions. All submissions must be in alignment with GeekGirlCon’s Mission Statement.

“Rock On!”

Links We Loved Last Week

In addition to providing news about our upcoming convention, GeekGirlCon loves sharing the latest and greatest geek news.

Here are some of our favorite geeky links from the week of September 5-12:

Look Back At 45 Years Of Star Trek In One Infographic, Nerd Approved

Hunger Games – Official Trailer, YouTube

First Footage from Series 2 of Sherlock, YouTube

How Do We Get More Students Interested in Math, Science & Tech Careers? [INFOGRAPHIC], Mashable

History of the Slayer, YouTube

To Boldly Go Where No Cookie Has Gone Before…,Bakingdom

10 Badass Women from Fantasy Literature, Topless Robot

The Guild Limited Edition Soda 6-pack, Jones Soda Co.

Guest Contributor
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