Several women and a man from Autodesk Manchester and Waltham offices were at a local event called Girls Technology Day today. The event was sponsored by the State of New Hampshire, Department of Education and held at Manchester Community College. The goal of the event was to promote girls in engineering and get high school freshmen and sophomore female students interested in various engineering fields and applications. 250 girls from 25 high schools were invited to attend.
Autodesk Manchester office was first contacted back in December. Since then, a group of women who volunteered to help got together occasionally and brainstormed/discussed what we could do to help the event. At the end, we decided to do two types of hands-on classes as well as taking part in the vendor space.
Erica Nwankwo, Education Evangelist, and Victoria Studley, Frontline Technical Support Specialist, gave a jewelry making hands-on class using Fusion 360 and 3D printing. Lynn Austin, Global Strategic Partnership Program Manager, and Christina Davis, Service Designer, gave a class teaching 3D design using Tinkercad. (Kevin, my colleague, and I also proposed the third one about movie-making and visual effects. Unfortunately, there was not enough room with computers to do additional hands-on.) The rest stood at the vendor space.
And the result is – I must say without hesitation that it was a huge hit! Girls loved the idea of modeling and 3D printing jewelries. It was such a joy to watch potential future engineers get excited with what we do. We must have had 250 pairs of pre-printed earrings as take away. They are mostly gone in one hour. Crowd continuously gathered around our tables. Girls were waiting behind others to get their turn to see 3D printed jewelries. A few girls said they know Autodesk; one said, “It’s a company who makes SketchBook, isn’t it?” (feels refreshing to hear not as a company who makes AutoCAD 😉 She said she uses it mostly for drawing. Some said they have SketchBook Pro.
Below are some pictures from the event.
Left: a girl (left) showing off her first 3D printed ring which she modeled using Fusion 360 during the class, posing with the instructor Erica (right). Right: a girl wearing 3D printed earring with Autodesk’s big “A” logo.
Erica and Victoria teaching a jewelry making class using Fusion 360 and 3D printer.
A scene from the opening keynote
Girls gathered in front of Autodesk vendor space
Matt Allard, Product Line manager, explaining how 3D printer works.
This is how the table looked like before the event started. In the middle are pre-printed jewelries for girls to take way, which did not last too long…
Another table with iPad to show iPad Apps and 3D printer in motion.
Other workshops included the wide range of engineering fields, such as microbial fuel cells as alternative energy, robotics, laser engraving, and design of a prosthetic arm. Left: instructors demonstrating Nao Robot. Right: Mikako couldn’t resist taking a selfie with adorable Nao. Nao knows how to look at a camera.
Thank you to the girls who stopped by today, and to the state of NH, the department of education for the opportunity.
Updates on March 27, 2015: Here are a few YouTube videos showing the cute Nao Robot in action. Have fun:
- World Premiere: 20 Nao Robots Dancing in Synchronized Harmony
- RoboCup 2011, finals: Nao-Devils vs. B-Human
Updates on August 17, 2016: Just bumped into this video from the local news. This was from 2015 Girls Technology Day. I spotted a few familiar faces from Autodesk as well as girls we talked at the event: