HQ4GIRLS - Games, Activities, and Web Fun for Girls!
These days, leadership positions and careers in science and technology are still mostly dominated by men. However, in the past decade, a growing group of women leaders has been honored, as their contributions have been critical to shaping the Web in its formative years. These women are Internet luminaries who created sites and communities to serve diverse audiences: kids, teens, moms, working young adults, third-age adults, and home-office workers. Still there is a great need for more and more women to play with and study technology, science, mathematics, and engineering, and attain leadership positions these areas!
In 2000, in response to market needs as well as thousands of requests from female members, the MaMaMedia team launched a web community for young girls called HQ4GIRLS. This mini-site was based on the MaMaMedia long-standing history and belief that the most important skills to foster in today's Clickerati children -- boys, and especially girls -- are the three Xs: eXploring, eXpressing and eXchanging ideas with new digital media. We wanted girls to learn, from a young age and from their first encounter, how to use the Internet NOT as Information Technology, but rather as Imagination Technology. This is what "IT" means in the context of HQ4GIRLS. Girls are invited to "Create what you can imagine!" through a special selection of games, activities, and projects targeted to their new, tech-savvy generation.
For the girls who play in HQ4GIRLS, mastering the use of digital media is about becoming versatile and effective communicators of ideas and designs. These girls can gain technological fluency and expand their minds through playful learning; they can design and animate characters, make their own digital cards, invent games, and more. Membership is free, and allows girls to save, publish, or e-mail their creations to friends or family, as well as to participate in message boards.
MaMaMedia.com has grown from 10,000 members in 1996 to over 5.2 million registered members worldwide in 2004. 65% of these members are girls who often go to HQ4GIRLS and play. Using this community and its activities, we hope to demonstrate how to open doors for future generations of young women by inspiring them to creatively use Internet media technology from a very young age, and by offering them the chance to feel first hand the entrepreneurial spirit of the digital world.