Ballarat camp to EXITE girls about IT

A camp organized by IBM gets rural school girls interested in IT

Twenty-four girls in Year 10 will attend IBM's Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering (EXITE) Camp in Ballarat this week.

The camp aims to introduce girls living in the Ballarat area of Victoria to career opportunities in IT, and to encourage greater learning of technology. It will be held at the Mt Helen Campus of the University of Ballarat from September 18-21

"We want to highlight career opportunities to people living in rural areas, and particularly to women who aren't very well represented in the industry," said Cameron Woolfe, EXITE Leader of the Ballarat camp.

"[Computing is] a non-traditional area for girls," he said, "so the camp is really targeted towards having fun and showing that computers are not just about programming and cutting code."

This will be the first EXITE camp to be held in Ballarat and follows a Gold Coast camp as the second of three EXITE camps to be run in Australia this year.

Students from Ballarat Grammar, Ballarat High School, Ballarat Secondary College, Beaufort Secondary College, Damascus College, Daylesford Secondary College, Loreto College, Mt Clear College and Sebastopol Secondary College have been chosen to attend the Ballarat camp.

Participants will attend a career expo and a site visit to the Sovereign Hill historical park to see the evolution of technology, as well as workshops on online media, programming, robotics, and crime investigation.

Girls will also be paired up with volunteer female mentors from IBM's Ballarat facility, who will provide academic assistance and career counselling during the camp and throughout the remaining school year.

"Women in IT can pretty much do anything they want to do," Woolfe said. "The sky's the limit."

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