In 2013, Josephine Ida Zec (then 13) of Zagreb won a scholarship to attend a software conference in Berlin – EuroPython and participate in a Django Girls event. This event was organized to motivate women to learn about coding and Josephine was the youngest participant. She thought more girls would want to enjoy such events and came up with her concept targeting teens and the Pyxie Dust Project was born. She was encouraged by Django Girls organizers to pitch her idea. In front of a crowd of almost a thousand conference goers, she presented her lightening talk on stage on July 24,2014 and her pitch can still be viewed here (12:00 mark start).
Since the talk, she developed the concept further and organized some resources including a first location – Impact Hub Zagreb and sponsors – Django Foundation and to launch a pilot event. The initial Pyxie Dust Project event was focused on helping teach girls from the age of 13 to18 to learn how to code and get them interested in technology careers. The first event took place at Impact Hub Zagreb from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th of September, 2014.
Josephine says “The reason why I am doing this is because a lot of girls and boys are more likely to go on Facebook, then to do something productive. This event is important because girls should educate themselves to know how the internet works and how people code. It’s a fun event where girls can meet new friends and have fun through learning technology.”
From technology to full steam ahead…STEAM, Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math. The events from 2015 onwards help to bring teen girls and young woman closer to STEAM fields through hands on, interactive events and exposure to learn skills and explore careers to start building their future and sharing with their peers.