Monthly Archives: July 2012
After a successful March Break camp we’re super excited to bring Girls Learning Code back for a summer session. Games That Change The World will be the theme for our first ever summer camp where campers will learn HTML, CSS, design skills, go on field trips, and so much more! 50% of our campers are attending on a full or partial scholarship, all thanks to our wonderful sponsors. We also couldn’t do this camp without our wonderful instructors – developers, designers, students, and tech enthusiasts – all who are passionate about inspiring the next generation.
To learn more about Girls Learning Code, please visit our website. Stay tuned to this blog during the week of camp, August 13-17, for frequent updates!
A graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business, Heather spent most of her first year post-graduation living in China and working towards a Masters in International Relations. That’s also where she first learned to build a self-hosted WordPress site (a blog about fitness, which she sold after a year). Upon her return to Toronto, she went corporate for a year before her desire to join a startup became too strong to ignore. In July 2011, Heather joined a Toronto-based, three-person tech startup building on the Facebook platform. Her experience there (in a non-technical role) made her even more determined to learn to program – so that she can contribute to building something of her own one day. In July 2011, Heather founded Ladies Learning Code, a not-for-profit startup (with a business model), and is also working on a project for the Mozilla Foundation, organizing youth-focused events and hack jams in Toronto. She also runs an after-school coding club for fifth and sixth graders. She is excited to meet the girls participating in Girls Learning Code this summer – it’s going to be a fun week!
Laura Plant (@lauralynplant)
Director, Ladies Learning Code
Laura grew up all over Southwestern Ontario, moving around her whole life. Always “the new girl” Laura began to understand, pretty early on, the importance of relationships and “staying connected”. With an educational and professional background in Human Resources, Laura made the shift to the world of consulting four years ago and has not looked back. The link between technology and human relationships fascinates her. This has ignited a personal passion for exploring and helping others to learn how to leverage and evolve the technology available to us in our world today and even tomorrow. In her spare time, Laura is exploring what technology has to offer and how it can help her do her job better, much like many of Ladies Learning Code’s beginner-level students. Laura is thrilled to have the opportunity to shape the way a group of 11-14 year olds view technology, and show them that it can be a creative medium for self-expression.
Melissa was born and raised in London, Ontario. When her family purchased their first computer, she began spending her evenings and summers coding a Harry Potter fan site (by trial and error). She then entered high school, where computer science was not promoted or encouraged, and lost touch with coding. Melissa went on to graduate from the Richard Ivey School of Business and since being part of her first startup in university, she’s realized what an advantage a technical skill set would bring. Since then, she’s always dreamed of a group for women that makes coding and tech accessible to complete beginners. Melissa couldn’t be more excited to be part of Girls Learning Code this year.
Amy Shuh (@amyshuh)
Lecturer, The University of Western Ontario
As a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business, Amy knew that she didn’t want to follow her peers into the corporate world full-time upon the end of her studies. When the opportunity presented itself to join the faculty of her alma mater, Amy did just that. Now, as a Lecturer of Introductory Accounting and Business Analysis at the University of Western Ontario, Amy takes great pride in engaging and empowering her students to achieve their greatest potential. Of personal interest to Amy is the challenges and opportunities professional women face throughout their careers. Amy’s tech interest and experiences build off of a strong math and analytical background, and includes consulting, designing, and creating marketing plans and multi-platform web presences for small businesses. Amy is excited to be involved with Girls Learning Code; the ultimate collision of empowerment, tech, learning, and “girl power.”
Kathryn grew up in a small town just north of Toronto and found passion for design and code at the young age of twelve. Today at twenty one, she is an aspiring independent new media artist attending her fourth year at Ryerson University with an eager attitude towards learning and the development of technology. In her spare time, she is a user experience web developer currently working amongst a start-up team at Ryerson’s own Digital Media Zone and a freelance web developer and designer for various clients. Her interests lie in simplistic user interface within web, mobile and print, as well as physical interactive installations, physical computing and sound art. She is very excited to be a part of the Girls Learning Code camps and be able to share her knowledge and passion for technology and creativity.
Raised in the suburbs of Ontario, Ashley Lewis moved to Toronto to complete her degree. She is a tech savvy, Ryerson New Media grad with a passion for children’s content. Ashley is a hacking, interactive designer with a DIY mentality. With a background in fine art, she also enjoys painting, sculpting and drawing when she isn’t coding. She loves collaborating on creative projects with people of different specializations and is currently aiding in the launch of Toronto’s first mobile Children’s Museum, inspired by the late great Marshall McLuhan. She has worked and interned for companies like TIFF and CBC and is thrilled at the opportunity to add Ladies Learning Code to that list. As a lady learning code herself, she is excited at the thought of passing on that passion to younger generations.
Freelance user experience and front end web designer
Ellen Saunders is a freelance user experience and front end web designer. Originally from the Washington DC area of the United States, Ellen came to Toronto to study in the design program at York University. She has always loved technology and has been making websites since she was in grade 7. Today, she is passionate about creating things that are simple and useful for users, and is especially interested in experimenting with gesture and touch-based user interfaces. She loves to explore, solve problems, cook, and play both board games and video games. She is super excited to help out at the Girls Learning Code summer camp!
Tiffany got involved with an Ontario student summer program called “Summer Company” in 2009, and this is when she started her web design and development company called TAS Designs.
Her technology passion includes editing videos and audio and developing websites and apps.
In April 2010, Tiffany had the honor of being the first female to graduate from the only three year Web Development and Design program offered in Ontario at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario.
With only 7 students in the class, Tiffany battled it out as the only girl!
Tiffany continues her education by taking classes within design and programming and is also developing her French skills. She awaits acceptance to University in the fall to obtain her Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media.
She is always keeping current with new trends by attending and volunteering at many web and technology workshops and events. She also enjoys the beach, cooking, music and travelling to Jamaica and Cuba.
Tiffany is excited to be a part of the Girls Learning Code summer camp and can’t wait to create a memorable experience for the girls.
Grade 12 student at Richview Collegiate Institute
Julie currently attends Richview Collegiate Institute and will be starting Grade 12 in September. Her interest in coding started because of her father and brother who both studied Computer Science at University. She started taking Computer Science in Grade 10 and immediately loved it, leading her to study it for the next two years. She is extremely excited to help these young girls start their paths into the world of technology and to get them excited about coding. This is a great opportunity for women to get involved in the industry at an early age and she is thrilled to be a part of it!
Office Coordinator during the week & dedicated Ladies Learning Code volunteer on weekends
Erika was born in Oshawa and split her time between Courtice and Toronto. Her mom bought the first family computer when she was 10, a blue screen dos programed laptop. She spent her evenings playing Treasure Mountain and learning how to operate in dos. When they upgraded their computer she took on trying to beat Duke Nukem and succeeded! In high school, she wanted to know about how the Internet and websites worked, asked her dad for an HTML book, and built her first website for a friend’s soccer team. While in high school, she took all the computer programs she could, including AutoCAD where she was the only girl in a class of ten and finishing the course in two weeks, but she did not see computers as a career option, and went to Durham College for Sport Management. Now by day Erika is an Office Coordinator and by evening works on furthering her education in geography, well occasionally spending her Saturdays helping with Ladies Learning Code workshops. Erika is super excited to be helping with Girls Learning Code and teaching girls that there is a spot for them in the tech world.
Kathryn Meisner (@KathrynMeisner)
Educational consultant, event planner, and social media strategist
Kathryn Meisner loves inspiring young people to change the world. As a public speaker, workshop facilitator, and international trip facilitator with Me to We and Free the Children, she has helped more than 15,000 youth across North America be the change they wish to see. Organizining 7 We Days has shown her that youth can truly make a difference. Motivated by We Day, youth raised $5.4 million for charity last year. Kathryn has designed and facilitated customized curriculum for many organizations including the Toronto District School Board has created a national curriculum for the Girl Guides of Canada. Eventually becoming a certified teacher, she has seen the powerful impact digital literacy can have in a student’s life – increased creativity, perseverance, and problem-solving skills. To support young people becoming contributors to the web, Kathryn is now an educational consultant. She also designs and facilitates professional development for educators and is a social media consultant for career building. Most recently, Kathryn has helped to organize Mozilla’s Hive Pop-Up which brought together kids and non-profits serving youth for a day of creating using tech. She cannot wait for Girls Learning Code Summer Day Camp because she knows it will empower girls to change the world through technology!
Carly Chalmers (@carlyjchalmers)
Intern, Ladies Learning Code
Carly Chalmers is a recent graduate of Ryerson University’s New Media program and the Intern at Ladies Learning Code. She is passionate about design, fostering creativity, and social innovation. Carly still remembers the feeling of wonder at being able to create art on the computer after her first interaction with Paint in grade 2. Today, she enjoys creating data visualisations, websites, and various graphic designs. She also enjoys coding and thinks cracking the code is one of the best feelings in the world. Away from her laptop, Carly can often be found at the ballet, art gallery, or planning her next big adventure. She’s looking forward to inspiring the next generation of designers at Girls Learning Code Summer Camp!
Grade 12 student at Richview Collegiate Institute
Alexandria is passionate about music, travelling, watching hockey, media, and enjoys filming and editing her own videos. In grade 10 she was one of only two girls enrolled in her school’s Computer Science class. The class taught her that not only does she enjoy using computer programs, but she enjoys making her own. Computer Science is perfect as it allows her to be both creative and put her problem solving tools to the test. Many of Alexandria’s female friends chose not to take the course because they thought it was considered only for boys. She wanted to get involved with Girls Learning Code to show that anyone can like programming and that there is more to it than just math and science. With technology being all around us, she wants to show others that it’s okay to be a computer geek.
Cristina is a project manager by day, and a compulsive creator by night! Ever since she was a little girl she’s been in love with technology and web development. At age 12 she started creating her own websites and graphics to participate in online horse RPG’s (and yes, you can giggle a little at that!). As a kid, Cristina attended a “website making” camp, and as you can see it made a huge impact on her life. She is very excited to have the opportunity to provide that same level of inspiration to the young girls at Girls Learning Code camp. Cristina has been working full time in the interactive industry for 5 years now, and still has just as much passion as the day she started. She is currently pursuing a degree in Business Technology Management while working as a full time Project Manager at TPM Communications. In what little spare time she has left, you can find her painting her nails, building a website, or working on a DIY project.
Vivien Leung (@vivi0202)
Event Manager by day & Pecha-Kucha organizer by night
Between her day job in event management and night job organizing social events that cultivate the Toronto creative community (She is Toronto chapter organizer of the non-profit global creative network PechaKucha Organization www.pecha-kucha.org), Vivien also considers herself a lifetime learner. From traveling to Mexico for Yoga Instructor training to learning Spanish in Guatemala to learning scuba diving in Malaysia to taking a Colour Design workshop in Seattle to learning how to build a house in the Philippines, Vivien has managed to learn a new skill every time she travels. When she first learned about ladies learning code, she immediately got her “learning bug” itch and tried up to sign up as many courses as she could fit into her schedule. Although she still hasn’t master her coding skills, she’s excited to be helping out Girls Learning Code as she’s currently enrolled in an online Professional Web Design program. She figures this would be the best opportunity to inspire and be inspired.
McDonald’s Assistant Manager by day & online music radio host by night
Kyle graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelors of Arts. He specialized in Cinema Studies after following his love of film from his high school days, where he specialized in Dramatic Arts. He currently works as an Assistant Manager at a McDonald’s restaurant. However, his biggest passion is music. He is the host of an online music and interview show created by the University of Toronto, Hart House and CIUT, the University of Toronto radio station. Titled Map Room Sessions, the show is a mix of questions and performances showcasing a wide variety of music styles (check it out on YouTube). In his spare time he enjoys reading, having BBQs in the backyard and hanging out with friends, new and old. Kyle is looking forward to working with Girls Learning Code and hopefully learning a few new things himself!
Anusha Chohan (@anushac6)
Freelance web developer
Anusha Chohan is a Web Developer in Toronto with a degree in Multimedia from McMaster University and a Certificate in Web Development from Humber College. After completing program at Humber College she worked in corporate organization for one of the big banks in Canada. After various positions in different sizes of firms she eventually moved on to a smaller company as a Web Producer for an online magaize which focused on lifestyle and fashion. She is currently freelancing. Anusha is thrilled to be working with Girls Learning Code as it provides an opportunity for young girls to get invovled in technologly and see how much fun it can be! Knowledge is power and providing girls with the tools will only benefit the tech world and diversify it.
Freelance designer and developer
Tessa is a web designer and front-end developer born and raised in Toronto. When beginning her humanities degree at the University of Toronto, she never would have imagined that she’d be making a living writing code, but now she works as a freelance designer and developer after spending a year working the U of T Student Services IT department. Tessa tries to share her knowledge as much as she can, and contributes to tutorial blogs when she has the time.
Student at George Brown College
Katelyn was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario. Having been in the same place her whole life, she developed a desire to see the world and take photos of her travels as her biggest passion is photography. She enjoys trying new things as she is always looking for new interests and hobbies. She has a passion for knowledge, and wants to learn as much as she can about the world. She is going to school at George Brown this fall and is excited to experience college life. She’s looking forward to helping out with Girls Learning Code because she thinks it is a great opportunity for young girls to learn more about technology.
Ashaya is so excited to be volunteering with Girls Learning Code! Her family received their first computer when she was just 5 years old, and she has been fascinated by all the things you can do on a computer ever since. If she had had the opportunity to attend a camp similar to Girls Learning Code when she was a child, she would likely have pursued a career in technology. However, she didn’t! After recently leaving her first corporate job (and hoping to never experience anything like that again), Ashaya is happy to be actively pursuing a career in acting and singing. At the camp, she is hoping to learn just as much as the campers, so she will be able to use current technology to create and promote her future films and songs. Ashaya’s wide range of interests include any kind of performing, studying criminal psychology and teaching herself to play the guitar.
Interactive Project Manager at zinc Roe
Miriam Verburg began her life as a geek with a Mac Pentium 5 and a scuffed-up copy of Photoshop 2. Since those early days, her passion for interactive media and extroverted nature has led to a pretty sweet career in management, program development, information strategy and web development, not necessarily in that order.
She completed her MA in Media Studies at Concordia University in 2009. Her thesis work focused on digital literacy, youth media and popular education in community settings. Girls Learning Code is an awesome chance to share her newfound love of game design and gaming with other like-minded ladies.
Thank you to these wonderful instructors – we know camp is going to be a blast!
For more info about Ladies Learning Code, follow us on Twitter or check out our Facebook Page. If you’d like to join our email list, click here or to volunteer as a Mentor at one of our workshops, join our developer email list.
You’ve all heard the term ‘content is king’ – but the reality is that not all content is created equal. A site can be well-built, but without good content the web experience will be stale and unengaging. Having good quality video content is what separates a good website from a great one.
This “Intro to Video Editing” workshop will show you the basics of shooting and editing a video with the web experience in mind. From concept planning, to shooting with DSLR cameras, to editing in Adobe Premiere Pro – you’ll learn it all.
This workshop is being led by the very talented folks at The Biz Media.
Date: Saturday, August 18th, 2012
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
Location: The George Brown College Digital Media and Gaming Incubator (341 King Street East)
Cost: $50 (includes catered breakfast and lunch)
Registration for this workshop will open at 7 pm on Wednesday, July 25th and an additional round of tickets will go on sale the next morning at 9 am. Make a note! We’re able to keep the cost of these workshops accessible because Toronto’s tech community is so awesome and incredibly supportive of what we’re doing – and we appreciate it!
Special thanks to the Geoge Brown College Digital Media and Gaming Incubator for supporting Ladies Learning Code once again by providing us with a beautiful and fully tricked-out venue for the workshop – we couldn’t do it without you!
This Saturday CSI Annex will be transformed once again into a classroom of beginner programmers as Introduction to Python returns for the second time. Freshbooks, who generously sponsored our first workshop, is sponsoring us once again. Last time our learners made four programs in one day, and we’re sure they’ll do it again with help from the following mentors:
Juan is Toronto’s newest software developer by day and serial hobbyist by night. Continually pushing the limits of the word “active”, Juan blends experience building software from the ground up with a drive to try every single recreational activity in existence at least once.
Having spent multiple years organizing the Canadian University Software Engineering Conference (CUSEC), she’s now immersed herself in the Toronto software development community by co-organizing the most recent edition of TechTalksTO, and volunteering for Ladies Learning Code.
Juan’s relationship with Python began during her tenure at Evertz Microsystems, and it was love at first sight. Their relationship has continued to blossom through Juan’s move to FreshBooks in Toronto, where she sings its praises to whoever will listen. She hopes that the Python workshop will not only convince the attendees that Python is amazing, but also inspire them to spend their free time tinkering with programming languages and building neat applications.
Dan Langer (@dlanger | http://daniellanger.com)
I’m a software developer at Wave Accounting. We make online accounting software that’s 100% written in Python (Django, FWIW). I spend my days writing software, testing software, and helping other developers in areas that I specialize in.
What are you passionate about? “Software. Politics. Getting more (non-traditional) people into both.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “The best way to make coding (and the community) non-hostile to women is to get more of them involved, and a great way to do that is small, almost-one-on-one support to take away the “magic” aspect of programming.”
What are you passionate about? “Mobile, web.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I work with Breanna at XL + attended the Launch party.”
Sarah Hong (@sarahjanehong)
What are you passionate about? “User experience, machine learning, computer vision.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “A couple of my classmates and friends mentored and told me it was a fun and rewarding experience. When I first learned to program, I was incredibly shy with my coding abilities. I know that I can relate to the attendees of the workshop, and I know that it would help me gain more confidence in myself as well.”
Nicolás Quesada (http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/~nquesada/)
Graduate Research Assistant at Department of Physics, University of Toronto
What are you passionate about? “Physics! Football (as in the thing you play with your feet and a ball).”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I thought it was a very cool idea. My girlfriend has participated in two workshops and she enjoyed it very much.”
Developer at Xtreme Labs
What are you passionate about? “History. ”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “It sounded like fun and was fun at the HTML/CSS event.”
What are you passionate about? “I enjoy clean, fast code, building things with my hands and making sure everything is tested properly.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I think everyone should learn Python. It’s a great tool to know and use.”
What are you passionate about? “Videogames. Also learning new things, creating amazing applications that are simple to use.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a team of great people and learn a lot along the way from them. Ladies Learning Code is a great initiative that wants to do away with the preconceived notion that programming can be difficult to get into. It’d be great to be able to give back to the community and get more people introduced to some useful and very important tech.”
Anton Nguyen (@AntonNguyen | http://www.antonnguyen.com)
I am a software developer at FreshBooks. I am mainly responsible for maintaining and implementing new features on the API, as well as helping 3rd-party developers who are working with it.
Currently, my main project are related to mobile, so I’m working primarily with jquery, backbone.js, html5 technologies, and iPhones.
As a side project, myself and a few other FreshBooks are teaching young kids how to program at the Yonge Street Mission using Scratch, and we’ll be helping out at their summer camp soon.
What are you passionate about? “I am very passionate about programming. I go to work and I program all day, then when I get home, I usually have a cool idea I want to work on, so I’ll find myself programming even more, working on something exciting.
I also love helping people, which is why I like to teach kids how to program, and why I go to many HackDays events across Canada to help people with the FreshBooks API.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Because I enjoy teaching and helping people learn how to develop! Also, I’m a big believer that there should be more women in the IT industry, so I would love to aid that movement in anyway.”
Jon Buckley (@jbuckca | http://jbuckley.ca)
What are you passionate about? “Automation of all sorts (testing, deployment), and release management.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Heather has approached myself and two others (Scott and Mike) at the Mozilla Foundation to run a Processing Ladies Learning Code event. I’d like to participate in a LLC event before doing that. Plus it would be good to exercise my rusty Python skills.”
Zeeshan Syed (@jbuckca | http://hakstudio.com)
I’m the lead developer at Loose Button. My responsibilities include executing on projects that will increase revenue and build the Loose Button membership. At the same time, I’m directly responsible for mentoring and coaching the other developers on the team. Loose Button is exclusively a Python and Django startup. Most recently my team was required to develop a migration plan to transfer tens of thousands of our members to a new membership. This included an extensive amount of backend scripts as well as a new website.
What are you passionate about? “My true passion is to leave a positive impact wherever it is that I go. I strongly believe that the greatest gift you can ever get, is knowing that you made a difference in someone else’s life.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “My ultimate goal is to build a development shop, Hak Studio, that is known for leaving a huge impact. Our focus is to build web applications for the next generation of disruptive startups. At the same time, I want Hak Studio to be known as a development shop that does things not only for profit, but also not for profit. My intentions are to build a long term partnership and friendship with Ladies Learning Code, and eventually work together on a few ideas for hackathons that I’d like to execute on in the near future.”
Malini Das (@malinidas)
What are you passionate about? “Making everyone a critical thinker.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I’d like to contribute to giving women a safe place to learn, because some spaces can be totally cruel.”
Adam Field (@adamfield)
Systems admin. dev/ops. and in-house IT. at FreshBooks
What are you passionate about? “Bikes, music, technology, linux, free and open-source software.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Supporting coworkers, supporting the tech industry, fighting the brogrammer image.”
What are you passionate about? ”Technology, sustainability, and elegant solutions. And tea.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I like code and I like teaching. LLC is a perfect fit!”
Joël Perras (@jperras | http://nerderati.com)
I work at Fictive Kin. We’re the people behind Teuxdeux, Gimmebar, the wildly amazing Brooklyn Beta conference (http://brooklynbeta.org/), and the newly announced Brooklyn Beta Summer Camp (http://brooklynbeta.org/summer-camp), a design-focused fund meant to help people make awesome things.
What are you passionate about? “I love, love, love all things tech, especially when it comes to programming and system automation, and computer science in general. I’m continually astounded that I get paid to do what I love, and wake every morning excited to hack on awesome things with amazingly talented people.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “People talk a lot about the gender gap in the tech/startup world, but not many actually try to do something about it. I’m hoping that my small contribution of time and knowledge to Ladies Learning Code can have a positive impact.”
Chris Brooks-Prenger (@mrprenger)
Recent graduate of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UofT)
What are you passionate about? ”Teaching and technology.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “We live in a world of technology and wrapping your head around it all can seem overwhelming. I love helping people learn more about technology and LLC is a great initiative making coding more accessible.”
Hanbin Chang (http://csc300aclovejc.blogspot.com)
Computer Science student at University of Toronto
What are you passionate about? ”I am passionate about what I am doing right now, which is programming and working my way to become a software engineer after graduation.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “At U of T, I took a course called “Computers and Society” and during one of the lecture, the founder of Ladies Learning Code, Heather Payne, came and gave us a lecture about ladies in the field of technology/computer fields.”
What are you passionate about? “Making enterprise software usable and enjoyable. When I’m not in front of a monitor, I’m finding a way to get on a bike.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Women are going to look at problems differently than men will, and come up with different solutions. As an industry we need more well trained women writing code.”
Srimonti Karmakar (@srikomo | http://bebedo.com)
As co-founder of my current startup, Bebedo Inc, I focus on all areas of product architecture, strategy and partnerships. I am one of a two-female technical founding team, and developed both the server and client layers of bebedo.com. I am currently also focusing on business development and sales.
What are you passionate about? “Taking risks, breaking routine and building things from scratch.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “This is a great initiative. It fosters the technology community and is an awesome way to meet like-minded people.”
What are you passionate about? ”All sorts of stuff. Startups, personal finance, Lolcats, weight lifting, etc.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Gender imbalance in tech.”
These mentors will help make our Python workshop positively perfect!
For more info about Ladies Learning Code, follow us on Twitter or check out our Facebook Page. If you’d like to join our email list, click here or to volunteer as a Mentor, join our developer email list.
Ladies Learning Code workshops are all about hands-on, project-based learning. At every workshop, participants have the chance to experience the fun that comes with building something from nothing, into a completed project. Typically, participants build websites or games. On Saturday, though, participants had the chance to work on a physical project for the first time, through our very first 3D Modelling & Printing Workshop.
One by one, the printers rolled in; Makerbots, Repraps, Pandabots and more, we spent the day with twelve unique 3D printers and their owners. It was a beautiful thing to see.
We spent the first half of the workshop learning about 3D modelling, using Autodesk Meshmixer, specifically. We learned that almost everything is designed in 3D before it’s ever made, such as toys, packaging, perhaps even your kitchen. Most shampoo bottles you see on TV commercials are 3D models, not the actual bottle!
Participants worked in pairs to learn Autodesk Meshmixer, a free tool for working with high resolution 3D models. (You can download it here.) Each pair worked to import shapes, use camera controls, tools, and brushes. Each pair sculpted models that could later be printed on a loop for a pendant or attached to a magnet. Learners designed pendants with flowers, hearts, characters, letters and more – the possibilities were endless!
Love to see people excited about 3D printing/modeling! Look at them goooo instagr.am/p/NEKlaJMSso/
— Ashley Jane Lewis (@AshleyJaneLewis) July 14, 2012
— Danielle O’Hanley (@dohanley) July 14, 2012
After the learners were happy with their creations, the file was put onto a USB key and taken into the printing room. It was time to “make”! Our mentors uploaded the file while telling learners stories of 3D printing and engaging them in conversation about the technology. You could feel the anticipation in the room as learners were wondering if the model they made would turn out to be a successful 3D print. Because 3D printing technology is so new, each print is a new adventure.
The room was buzzing as the printers started printing, one string and layer of ABS plastic at a time, row by row. Each creation took anywhere from 20-45 minutes to print. In the end, many prints turned out wonderfully and learners were sent home with a pendant or magnet and lots of knowledge about 3D printing!
It’s time for something new at Ladies Learning Code. We’ll be having fun in 3D on July 14th with our first ever 3D Modelling and Printing workshop. We couldn’t do this workshop without these amazing mentors alongside their Makerbots, Repraps and Pandabots so please join us in giving them a warm welcome!
Lead Instructor: Ryan Schmidt (http://www.dgp.toronto.edu/~rms/)
Ryan is a Research Scientist at Autodesk Research in Toronto, Canada. Ryan’s research focuses on interactive 3D design tools, with the goal of making them more expressive and efficient. As an undergraduate at the University of Calgary, he worked on a spinal surgery simulator and designed the MADBoxes display wall. In his graduate work (MSc UCalgary 2006, PhD UToronto 2010) he created ShapeShop, an easy-to-use sketch-based 3D modeling tool, and started the meshmixer project, which was acquired by Autodesk in 2011. Currently he is continuing to develop meshmixer and exploring new design interfaces in the context of emerging personal 3D fabrication workflows.
Lead Instructor: Gabby Resch (http://losingtime.ca/)
Gabby is a graduate student at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information and a member of both the ENCORE Lab research group at OISE and the Mobile and Pervasive Computing Cluster at the Inclusive Design Institute. He studies the development of digital media tools for educational purposes, and is especially interested in those that blur the lines between the virtual world and the authentic material world.
What are you passionate about? “Textiles and architecture.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “To be inspired!”
What are you passionate about? “Unlocking the opportunities for designers to deliver their concepts to consumers directly and instantaneously.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I wanted to highlight the possibilities in 3D printing. It’s really, really not like model trains, despite its current appearance.”
Andre Tiemann (http://printmyhouse.com)
Production at Entire Imaging Solutions
What are you passionate about? “3D Printing.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I have a few 3D printers. Plus I like anything 3D Printer related.”
Suzanne Corriveau (@saeruaisu)
Systems Administrator at Teksmart
What are you passionate about? “Technology and the way it shapes lives.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Because it’s hard to meet other ladies interested in tech!”
What are you passionate about? “Bleeding edge technologies, improving everyone’s life.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “It was a great way for Suzanne and I to meet similarly minded individuals in Toronto.”
Paulo Bittencourt (@elpbitty)
Web Developer at Glendon College, York University – Responsible for developing and maintaining internal web applications, constantly trying to make better software.
What are you passionate about? “1. Learning to make software that is actually good. (It’s hard!) 2. Learning how things work.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I’ve been following Ladies Learning Code events for the last few months, but have had trouble making time to go to the events that I’ve been interested in. When 3D printing came into the mix, I had to make it work. It seems like a very positive environment and I’m curious to see how the mentor format works!”
What are you passionate about? “The way culture is being transformed by disruptive technologies like the internet and how the virtual world is shaping physical space.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I want to help empower people to shape their world by teaching them about the tools new technology provides.”
What are you passionate about? “Art, design, technology, physical computing, pints, and oxford commas.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Not enough lady developers out there.”
What are you passionate about? “Children’s education through multimedia platforms.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “They are an up beat, positive environment who are leaving a reputable mark on the female involvement in the programming/coding industry.”
Kathryn Meisner (@KathrynMeisner)
I do many things! Educational consulting, event planning, and social media strategy to name a few. I’m currently working with a few organizations including Mozilla, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, and EcoSchools.
What are you passionate about? “Helping people to play and learn through technology!”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I am a Lady Learning Code myself. This initiative is like no other and I am ecstatic to be a part of giving women more entry points into tech.”
What are you passionate about? “I’m all about good design, clean typography, qualitative research & ethnography, people, DIY & the maker movement, collaboration, running, good food, good wine, good craft beer & silly cat pictures.”
What are you passionate about? “Technology.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I enjoy helping others especially when they are eager to learn about technology.”
What are you passionate about? “Education outside the classroom.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Learning and teaching is super fun and rewarding. Also, selfishness! I want more ladies in the industry.”
What are you passionate about? “Mathematics, functional programming, language design, and 3D printing.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Sexism in technology culture is deeply problematic. Also, 3D printing is awesome!”
What are you passionate about? “Architecture + Textiles.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Love 3D!”
What are you passionate about? “I’m passionate about sharing the awesomeness of 3D printing, and all of the changes to society and manufacturing that come with it. I’m also a strong proponent of videogame preservation, and understanding game design/mechanics/UX.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Because at least ten people forwarded Laura’s call for 3D printers to me. As you can see on my events page, I jump at just about any chance to get people excited about making: http://www.techknight.com/3d-printing-events-appearances/”
What are you passionate about? “I am passionate about designing, making and creating a well thought through user interface, a good code or a good product that works like magic!!”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I recently learned about ladies learning code. My first thought was if this community was around when I was a computer math student, I probably would have benefited from the support and continued to finish the degree instead of switching paths. I was more than excited when the opportunity presented itself for me to participate and give back. Having come around full circle, this time I intend to stay.”
Jacob Botden (@jacobbiljo)
Controls Designer – Designing, programming and wiring industrial machines – at Athena Automation
What are you passionate about? “Electronics design, 3d printing and the Open Source Harware community.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I always look forward to opportunities to expand the 3D printing community.”
For more info about Ladies Learning Code, follow us on Twitter or check out our Facebook Page. If you’d like to join our email list, click here or to volunteer as a Mentor, join our developer email list.