Dreamstime_xs_10621110High school girls in grades 9 through 11, listen up: Organizers of the Governor's Institutes of Vermont want you to attend their Information Technology Institute this summer. They've even got scholarship money to give you.

Seriously, they really, really want you to apply. So much so that they've extended the application deadline until May 15 — for girls. Boys who want to apply, at this point, go on the waiting list.

Why the focus on girls in IT? Registrar Annie Schneider explains that GIV seeks gender parity in all of its summer institutes, and makes a special effort to attract young women into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. There are plenty of them in the math, engineering and environmental sciences institutes, she says, but IT, not so much. "For some reason," says Schneider, "we have a lot of trouble reaching girls in IT."

Honestly, I don't get it. The summer session, which takes place from June 22 to 30 at Champlain College in Burlington, sounds like a geekette's dream. From the description on the Governor's Institute website:

The Governor’s Institute on Information Technology is eight days jam-packed with all things IT. You’ll access state-of-the-art equipment, the hardware and software of your dreams, and professionals at the forefront of their fields. Electronic game design, cybersecurity, coding, digital video, Photoshop, web entrepreneurship, object-oriented programming, and more are on the menu. New for 2013, you’ll be able to choose from tracks in game design, coding and cybersecurity, or “advanced webistry” (interactive web design and entrepreneurship) to focus on in depth.

… Whether you’re a casual user or supergeek, this institute is designed for you. We’ll explore the technologies of the future and look at innovative ways that information technology is being used to create a better world.  So join us on Champlain College’s beautiful Burlington campus — with a view of Lake Champlain — for a week of challenging mind games.

Schneider points out that summer institute participants get to do graphic design, and work with Champlain's Emergent Media Center. What's not to love about that? 

Girls, if you're interested, check out this website. Tuition for GIV is on a sliding scale, and the scholarship money, from EPSCOR, defrays anywhere from $50 to $500 of the cost. Your school guidance counselor can help you apply.

Never heard of the Governor's Institutes? Check out this essay by Seven Days multimedia producer Eva Sollberger that appeared in the March issue of Kids VT. She went to the Institute on the Arts and said it changed her life.

Image credit: stock photo from Dreamstime.