Menlo Park, CA – Clubhouse members from across the U.S.A. recently convened at Facebook’s California headquarters for their Engineer for the Week Achievement Summit. The summit brings teens together to use computer science and engineering to address social issues. The program is intended for youth historically underrepresented in STEM and aims to increase access for communities where engineering and computer science exposure is limited.
Over 50 teams entered with only 20 advancing to the summit, 5 of which were Clubhouse Network members. The teams representing The Clubhouse Network were The CYC Clubhouse in San Francisco, The Best Buy Teen Tech Center @ Jersey City Boys & Girls Club, The Howard Area Community Center Clubhouse in Chicago, The EXPO Center Clubhouse in Los Angeles, and The Clubhouse @ Grand St. Settlement in New York.
At this two-day software development “sprint,” youth identify a social issue that’s important to them and then create a game to tackle the problem. Teams used the Scratch platform, educational coding software designed to help young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Each team was assigned a mentor from Facebook’s employee-of-color affinity groups. After developing their project, teams had to pitch their projects to a series of judges. During sprint breaks, Facebook held panels about the engineering industry featuring professionals from underrepresented communities.
The summit resulted in eight finalists, four of which were Clubhouse Network members. Prizes were awarded in the categories of “Social Impact,” “Creativity,” “Best Pitch,” and “Best Overall.” The Clubhouse Network is proud to report that The Best Overall award was presented to The Best Buy Teen Tech Center @ Jersey City Boys & Girls Club. Congratulations to Clubhouse Coordinator Bert Gervais and his members on their efforts!
The Clubhouse Network also extends congratulations to the delegation from Hartford’s Girls for Technology, winners of the Social Impact Award. Girls for Technology is a Hartford nonprofit co-founded by Sabrina Tucker-Barrett and Anthony G. Barrett. Anthony G. Barrett is Executive Director of the Wilson-Gray YMCA of Greater Hartford, one of the newest Clubhouse Network members and home to Connecticut’s first Best Buy Teen Tech Center.
The Clubhouse Network is grateful for Facebook’s sponsorship of our 2019 Annual Conference and ongoing support.
Participation in events like Facebook’s Engineer for the Week is part of The Clubhouse Network’s commitment to creating access to technology and opportunities for youth from underserved communities.