Valuing the women in your lives, laser-cutting zombies and banana pianos….

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Who are you working with? I mean really working with and who’s in your life? Who stays?  Who would you want to work with? I’ll make a bet some of these are women – at least I hope they are!. We don’t always really support each other as well as we’d like, do we? The ideals of women in technology and science and girl geeks are amazing BUT… supporting women really starts with the women in your life!

It’s all too often I see women that feel that they are in competition. Not actively discouraging of one another but they don’t actively praise or encourage each other either. We should though – much more often, but we don’t always seem to think that we are all on the same side. It takes effort like anything that is worthwhile, but the long haul benefits are amazing so be that friend you’d like to have yourself.

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My girlfriends and I are off in the summer on my hen party. We have been friends as long as I can remember and this trip will be no different than usual. We cheer-lead each other at every turn, we also row and fight and drive each other insane but we always actively support each other. We’re lucky perhaps, because the men in our lives life support us too. There have been so many times when one of our other halves have helped us out when we needed it, but ‘my girls’ are the women that have watched me muddle through my 20s and to whom I know I can turn at any time. I also am lucky enough to have my amazing Liverpool Girl Geeks, truly talented women who are out to support and motivate each other 🙂

So, cultivate your friendships and family links with women, because the women in your life will get you through some tough times….With international women’s day round the corner, shout out your support to the women in your life @lpoogirlgeeks

“Top 5”  this month …..

1. Maker Faire UK…. Makerfaires are the ‘Greatest show and tell’s on earth’, full of amazingly creative people who delight in sharing their projects, knowledge and ‘tech-spertise’. Me and my other half have been going to this event in Newcastle for years. It the biggest and best UK maker get together in the north. This year it’s on the weekend of 25th-26th April an I’m doubly excited to be attending because I have a pitch with the @HEdWorks project based @LJMU, so I’ll be tweeting up and blogging all about it from here. Last year was thrilling, a giant robotic hand that could crush cars, a fire-breathing mechanical dragon, Daleks, weird and wonderful inventions, fascinating stall – it was brilliant!  This year the Human Machine is back together with Adrian Pritchard’s ‘Osmosis Machine’ – a 10 foot tall live kinetic painting 🙂 Grab your tickets here!!!

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2. LJMU FabLab  – This month Lol Baker @LJMUFabLab helped me laser cut all the pupil prizes for my electronics competitions .. Sooo grateful, the kids were thrilled, particularly the grand winner, who’s ‘light up zombie’ idea was transformed into reality. @LJMUFabLab is based in LJMU’s School of Art and Design and has some wonderful kit… lots of 3D printers, 3D scanners and of course laser cutters. It’s heavenly 🙂 If you want to see what it it’s all about, why not drop in to Baltic Creative between 2-6pm on Wednesday (25th Feb) and check out their ‘pop-up’ FabLab – link here.

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3.Edge Hill University. Apart from this being where I am currently doing my PGCE in physics, EHU is the TES University of the Year and has an amazing secondary science program if your thinking of going into teaching. My course lecturers, Bernie, Ben, Tony, Sean and Graham (who is also my tutor and an Institute of Physics mentor) are all ultra supportive. Graham, this month, sent us all an email entitled “Girls in Physics” about ways in which you can improve your teaching for girls. The IoP is amazing for this kind of thing. Check out their website here. I have never seen five lecturers all attend a single class, but these guys all come to every single one. Talk about team teaching!  Bernie Kerfoot, my course leader goes out of his way to ask all the best teachers from across the north west to come speak to us. It’s like getting a crash course with the best people around and he is always at hand for that extras bit of advice and guidance. I love it , the schools I’ve worked with and people who have given me guidance have been amazing !! I also love Lynne Warham’s the Programme Leader for all Secondary PGCE’s. She always has great guidance and cracking bad jokes every Friday morning 🙂

Capture14 Rasberry Pi  – Me and Mark had the pleasure of going to a Raspberry Pi Jam run by JamPackedUK a few months ago and from a maker point of view (this was pointed out to me later ..LoL) I was wondering where all the making was… until I realised you can do loads digitally with a Raspberry Pi, whereas I’m used to making physical devices using Arduinos. I have promptly been trying to code music with sonic pi, its going well although I’ll be looking forward to seeing @cgarside  after we seem to be trading trips for Arduino/ Pi atm. I’ll keep you all updated what we make with it 🙂 Although it’s got us thinking that maybe alongside Raspberry Jams we need ‘Arduino Marmalades’ too – anybody interested in setting some up?? 🙂

Capture 35 Makey Makey – Question: What do you do with mini-geeks over half term…well, I gave mine this, a Makey-Makey. Fun bit of kit this 🙂 Basically it’s like a little control panel that you can hook up to things, download some code from their website (here) and within minutes (literally) our 9 year old had built herself a banana piano – I kid you not 🙂 Kept her happy for ages and she’s now figuring out other projects she can build.

Things the girls are talking about …Topcashback

I’ve got to admit , I still don’t know enough about this ..but valuing the other women in my life I know Ms Moon @BargainBible does. She’s the queen of the vouchers and deals, and has a mean blog on all things discount here. I have just registered with this to get my cash back. After a weekend in Newcastle with Ms Moon for less than £100 pounds; a full weekend I take her advice whenever she says it’s a bargain. So Topcashback it is then 🙂

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