WINI Reaches Out

May 19, 2010

Women@INI (WINI) is a student-run organization at the INI, and it leads several outreach projects throughout the year. On May 15, WINI presented at the Girls "Tech Over" STEM Conference, a fun event hosted by Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania. The girls who participated came to the conference to learn about topics of science, technology, engineering and math through the hands-on workshops that were offered.

WINI led a talk about safe, responsible use of cyberspace and encouraged the girls to play Carnegie Cadets: The MySecureCyberspace Game. The game includes several missions that cover fundamental skills such as how to spot spam, how to keep personal information private, and how to identify dangerous traps in cyberspace. The game is available as a free download as part of the university's outreach initiative called MySecureCyberspace.

"It was great to see [the girls'] enthusiasm towards the game," said Prachi Wadekar, an INI student and chair of WINI.

In addition to the Tech Over event, WINI led several other outreach projects during the 2009-2010 academic year. In the fall, they volunteered technical support to veterans in downtown Pittsburgh on the 9/11 National Day of Service, and the members of WINI studying internationally organized a presentation about breast cancer for the campus of Athens Information Technology. In the spring, WINI led a drive to collect clothes and household items to donate to non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh.