Field Notes: Junior Innovation Camp

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Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do when not in front of a computer.
Today I’d like to share some experiences we had during the Junior Innovator Camp that was part of the Wonder Women Tech conference earlier this summer. I was joined by my colleagues Marjorie Asturias (who also spoke), Sarah Blackstock, Erica Varlese, and Anne McCarthy.
Wonder Women Tech, where Automattic was a sponsor, is a conference that highlights women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), and provides a forum for discussing important topics around diversity. The two-day event drew over 150 speakers, all of whom were successful entrepreneurs or business leaders, who shared their triumphs, failings, and learned lessons. The conference offered educational opportunities to a number of area students who were attending on scholarships.
My colleagues and I presented a half-day workshop on “WordPress for the Beginning Entrepreneur” as part of the Junior Innovator Camp aimed at young adults aged 13-17. First up we taught the students how to create websites using WordPress.com, including how to customize the look and feel of a site. After that we walked them through a hands-on branding exercise that explored how to come up with a product or service, how to make your business unique, and what types of people your business would appeal to. We rounded the whole thing out with a crash course in marketing before the students shared their businesses with us.

Twenty-one students (and their parents) attended this event. Students worked in groups for the workshop, but I was pleased to see the adults following along on their own as well. It’s never a bad day when you can share your knowledge with someone, and this day was no different. Our

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