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IBM appeals to girls with microchipped butterflies


Tracking Monarch butterflies on their route from Toronto to the Mexican border might be just what a 12-year-old girl needs to spark an interest in science and technology, InfoWorld reports. Twenty-five girls ages 12 and 13 released a group of microchipped butterflies last week, one of several activities on the roster this year at IBM Canada Inc.’s 3-day E.X.I.T.E. camp. Hosted every summer the IBM Toronto Lab in Markham, Ont., E.X.I.T.E. encourages pre-teen girls to take an interest in technology and engineering and inspire them to pursue further studies in high school. School counselors and teachers nominate camp participants for the IBM-funded program, which is restricted to females in grades seven and eight. This year, the girls created robots out of Legos and programmed them to dance, performed DNA experiments on bananas, and searched for film canisters filled with stickers and quiz questions using GPS. Other activities included learning about green technology and developing cartoon animations using Scratch, a 3D programming language with a graphical interface. "It’s designed to give them positive female role models in the technology and engineering fields, to give them an idea of hands-on approaches to learning about these areas, and to encourage them to pursue and explore careers in these areas," said Sarah Naqvi, co-chair of the E.X.I.T.E. Camp in Toronto…

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