Hack the Gender Gap: A Women's IoT Makeathon

This event brought together college-age women from around the country to envision their role and influence in the emerging “smart-world” market.

  1. Maker. Creator. Entrepreneur. Boss.

  2. West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media wants to empower young women to see themselves in these roles and to help them become leaders in the space where media and technology intersect. To do that, the College of Media partnered with MediaShift to co-host a Makeathon.
  3. The three-day event kicked off on Friday, April 1, and took place at the College’s Media Innovation Center.
  4. The focus of the event was on the new but accelerating market in the Internet of Things (IoT) and its potential impact on journalism and media, including sensor journalism, reporting with networked smart objects, storytelling with beacons and more.
  5. The second day of the Makeathon kicked off with a presentation by College of Media Associate Professor and Media Innovation Center Creative Director Dana Coester.
  6. Throughout the weekend, participants worked in teams on a challenge to problem solve, invent and craft solutions in IoT that make sense for journalism and media enterprises.
  7. The event featured a network of on-site speakers who informed, engaged and inspired the students throughout the challenge.
  8. Umbreen Bhatti is a lawyer, strategist and design coach who spoke on the importance of human-centered design. Umbreen joined the conversation via skype on day two.
  9. Next, the students heard from Christine Sunu who is the GE fellow in Buzzfeed’s Open Lab for Journalism, technology and the arts. She discussed the IoT market landscape.
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