Creative coding conference celebrates the achievements of women in tech and digital art with activities for K-12 girls, STEAM educators and the South Florida community at large.
Miami, March 7, 2023 – The Idea Center at Miami Dade College (MDC) is proud to partner with Code/Art to host Code/Art Fest, the premier annual gathering for young female coders and STEAM educators, starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 11. This one-of-a-kind conference celebrates the achievements of women in the fields of technology and digital art, while equipping attendees with new skills and increasing awareness of the countless career opportunities in computing.
Although designed for K-12 girls and educators, Code/Art Fest is a great event for students of all ages, parents, educators and members of the wider South Florida community who are interested in the merger of art and coding, and/or bridging the gender gap in the South Florida tech industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, hear from inspiring industry experts, attend a student pitch competition, learn about careers in tech (one session will be in Spanish), take part in hands-on activities in the STEAM Expo and enjoy an interactive digital art exhibit featuring awe-inspiring student coded projects. Code/Art Fest will culminate with an awards ceremony, where the winners of its annual coding competitions – including the $5,000 grand prize winners of the Code/Art ChangeMaker Challenge – will be announced.
This year’s incredible line-up of speakers includes keynotes from Emily Reid and Ari Melenciano. Reid, the CEO of AI4ALL and former Director of Education for Girls Who Code, will sit down for a fireside chat with Code/Art high schoolers Valentina Nicolini and Sahana Sethuraman to discuss efforts to democratize AI education and the impact of AI technologies such as ChatGPT. Ari Melenciano is an artist and technologist and the founder of Afrotectopia. With a background in teaching at top universities and working at Google’s Creative Lab, Melenciano’s work has been recognized by a variety of institutions including MoMA and The Ford Foundation. Fresh off of speaking at SXSW, Melenciano will deliver a captivating keynote address before the closing awards ceremony. For more information and to view the complete line-up, visit code-art.com/codeartfest/#schedule.
“Code/Art Fest is one of our favorite activities of the year at Miami Dade College,” said Alejandro Gonzalez, Executive Director at The Idea Center at MDC. “The students present innovative ideas. The parents learn new ways in which they can further support their children. Tech professionals share inspiring stories with female students who have bright futures ahead. Educators have an opportunity to learn new skills and interact with industry professionals. In summary, it’s the perfect place for intentional collision of an entire ecosystem. We are excited to welcome Code/Art Fest back this year for what promises to be the largest and most dynamic Fest yet.”
“Code/Art Fest allows us to invest in our next generation to help provide transformational learning opportunities for female students in a social setting,” said Florida Power & Light Company’s Director of External Affairs for Miami-Dade County Armando Fernandez. “We’re proud to support this event to help continue its powerful impact and hopefully build a pipeline of future female engineers at FPL.”
“Code/Art Fest is also an incredible opportunity for educators! In addition to being inspired by the student projects and keynote speakers, STEM educators have the opportunity to participate in our Educator Track,” said Code/Art Chief Creative Officer Romina Polo. “Educators will walk away with exciting lesson plan ideas and resources in a variety of CS areas.”
“At Code/Art Fest, we celebrate the creative side and social good side of coding,” said Amy Austin Renshaw, CEO and Co-Founder of Code/Art. “Many students, girls especially, may never try computer programming because they assume it is boring or not relevant to them, but at Code/Art Fest they see how gaining coding skills can empower them to be more creative and do good in their communities.”
“Code/Art is one of the best institutions in Miami building a K-12 tech talent pool that represents the gender, racial and ethnic mix of our community,” said Antonio Delgado, Vice President of Innovation and Technology Partnerships at Miami Dade College and Senior Advisor for Tech Talent Development to Mayor Francis Suarez. “Their Code/Art Fest is the most exciting event of the year for K-12 girls and teachers to get inspired, learn and engage with tech professionals, educators and community leaders.”
Registration for the event is open at code-art.com/codeartfest. The general event is free to the public thanks to generous financial support from sponsors that include JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Amazon, FPL, Brainstation, Endeavor, CITY Furniture, Rialto, ModMed, Develop, Superblue and Breezeline. Support from PPG Foundation helped with national outreach for Code/Art’s creative coding competitions, whose winners will be announced at Code/Art Fest.
In addition to the expo, art exhibit, mainstage speakers and panels, there are three workshop tracks at the festival – one educator track and two student tracks. The Educator Track is free, and middle school and high school teachers who register and attend will receive a paid stipend. Go to code-art.com/codeartfest/educator for more information and to register. There is a $5 fee to register for any of the student track workshops.
Community partners for this year’s event include Venture Miami, CSTA Miami, CSforALL, Moonlighter Makerspace, Black Girls Code, Girls Make Beats, YouMake Miami, Miami Dade College, Ironhack, Miami-Dade Public Library System, EarSketch, Microsoft TEALS, Miami EdTech, Cyber.Org, Without Walls Edu, and Riders Robotics.
About The Idea Center:
The Idea Center provides a support network for all Miami Dade College students, alumni, and community members to make creative, innovative and entrepreneurial ideas come true.
Code/Art is an award-winning non-profit organization on a mission to increase the number of girls studying computer science by delighting and inspiring them with the creative possibilities of computer programming. Its ultimate goal is to put young women – particularly young women from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups – on track for future tech careers by providing welcoming early coding programs that focus on art, creativity and social good. In addition to its annual conference Code/Art Fest, Code/Art runs coding clubs, camps, workshops and annual competitions for girls and non-binary youth in grades 3-12 as well as professional development workshops for K-12 educators. To learn more about Code/Art, visit: code-art.com.
** For accompanying photos, go to photo library of Code/Art Fest images **