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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > 2009 > Virtual Middle School Girl ‘Jennifer Webb’ to Headline Computer Mania Day

Press Releases

Virtual Middle School Girl ‘Jennifer Webb’ to Headline Computer Mania Day, October 31 at the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Annandale Campus

October 7, 2009

ANNANDALE, VIRGINIA (10/07/09) - Jennifer Webb is her name and even though she is a 3-D, digitally animated puppet, she can flip her ponytail, Twitter, download and prepare for a career in technology. In fact, she is just like hundreds of middle school girls from around the region who will be able to interact with her live at Computer Mania Day at NOVA's Annandale Campus on Saturday, October 31 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Computer Mania Day is an annual day of free, hands-on, high-tech, fun activities for adults and kids sponsored by the Multinational Development of Women in Technology (MDWIT) in partnership with NOVA. This event encourages girl's interest in technology and engineering careers, in addition to helping parents and teachers learn how to best prepare their kids for college and technical careers and keep them safe online. Boys are welcome; however, the focus is on girls because of their continuing under-representation in the fields of engineering and information technology.

Arlington Public School teacher Kathy Gust is taking the lead on bringing Jennifer Webb to life by working with a team of middle school students as puppeteers for the delivery. "Jennifer Webb represents cutting-edge technology that can figuratively and literally talk to girls to get the message across that technology is fun," said Claudia Morrell, CEO of MDWIT. And it is working. According to Ms. Gust, there is a real interest not only in manipulating the puppet, but also for children to design their own Jennifer Webb!

Jennifer Webb will address and take questions from a panel of business leaders, as well as attendees at 10:30 a.m. in the gymnasium at the NOVA Annandale Campus. Later in the day, animators will discuss how bringing Jennifer Webb to life taught real-world lessons with a panel discussion led by Lockheed Martin up and comers, a behind-the-scenes video of the making of Jennifer Webb and for a few lucky attendees, a chance to make the puppet come to life!

At Computer Mania Day, students will experience hands-on workshops led by positive female role models from academia, industry and government sectors. The day is designed to provide a broad-based introduction to the many careers available to students who excel in math and pursue technology and engineering.

Girls' event highlights include "Chasing Clouds: Prepare for Liftoff," "A Pixel is Worth a Thousand Words," and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Jennifer with the Lockheed Martin Technology Troupe. All attendees will have the chance to win great giveaways and the first 250 students will receive a free goodie bag.

Admission to the event is free, but advance registration is required. Adults and children should visit for more information and to register online. Space is limited!

The Multinational Development of Women in Technology (MDWIT) was founded as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 2006 to accelerate growth in the global knowledge economy. By combining women's hidden potential with innovative ideas enabled through technology, all women, their families and communities prosper. 

Heather Neikirk

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703.323.3000 or visit the College's Website at