There was such a huge groundswell of attendees during the 4 weeks preceding the conference - attendee numbers swelled from 600 to close to 1400 - we found our panels spaces full to capacity. Workshop subjects ranged from Stories of 4 Successful Women to Affirmative Action to the Internet. The objectives were to provide participants with solid strategies, tools and techniques to help them successfully meet their objectives in a very interactive setting. While the majority of workshops received rave reviews, we did receive excellent feedback from attendees whose suggestions for improvement which we plan to factor into our design for next year's conference.
Internet Panel (June 28, 2 - 3:30 p.m., June 29, 9 - 10:15 a.m.)
Questions asked/answered included all of the "hot" 'Net
topics. Who owns the Internet? Who controls it? How can
parents ensure their children are safe on the Internet?
How secure is Internet traffic currently? What kinds of
security/encryption technologies are available or in the
works? How feasible is business on the World Wide Web?
What is the difference between commercial Internet access
providers and Internet access through America Online, Prodigy, Microsoft Network?
Answers about what the Internet was/is/will be sparked
more questions - the panel simply built upon itself.
I've only scratched the surface with the questions above.
There were many more, all revolving around other panelist
and audience member comments, questions, and answers.
It was a truly interactive session.
Mentoring the Girl Scouts (June 28, 10:30 a.m. - Noon)
Five girls from the Santa Clara Girl Scout Council actively participated in an interactive mentoring program with 20 conference attendees. The session began with an overview of several Science and Technology Programs available to the girl scouts through various volunteer organizations. Then the girls met in small groups with the conference attendees(mentors) for an interview session. The girls were eager to learn about the type of work their mentors did, how they choose their respective career field and what other type of experience they had.
The real fun began in the second half of the session, when the girls scouts led the discussion and performed several science experiments during the session. One experiment involved PH balance testing on common household foods. An interactive team experiment required engineering. The girls designed and built a structure out of drinking straws. The structures were judged upon strength and height.
One of the funniest experiments tested the concept of velocity. Using marbles and toy cars, the girls demonstrated the effects of velocity upon impact on the toy cars.
The mentoring session concluded with the conference attendees writing messages of encouragement to each of the girls. Words such as "Never stop believing you can be the best", "Don't be afraid to try new things" and "Follow your dreams" as well as the opportunity to meet with successful career women, certainly made a wonderful impact on the girls that attended the mentoring session.
Money Talk (June 29, 9 - 10:15 a.m., 10:30 a.m. - Noon)
The questions from the audience made the sessions interesting. The topics
ranged from selecting an investment manager, learning more about basic
investment terminology, to how to plan now for your retirment. The
discussions were lively and indicated a deep interest in the workshop