Gig City Girls hosts largest female coding event in Chattanooga

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

Last Saturday, Chattanooga’s Gig City Girls hosted their first female coding event that brought in nearly 300 participants! With the event’s impressive turnout, it is no question that the future looks bright for more girls wanting to make a career in STEM fields.

(L to R) Nikki Russell, Michelle Bettis, Stephanie Montgomery

The founders of Gig City Girls, Hamilton County educators Michelle Bettis of Ooltewah High School, Nikki Russell of Orchard Knob Elementary, and Stephanie Montgomery of STEM School Chattanooga, turned their venture into a reality last fall through PEF’s Teacherpreneur. The concept initially started when Bettis expressed to STEM School Chattanooga principal, Dr. Tony Donen, the idea that there should be a district-wide event for females in STEM. Around that same time, the 2018-2019 Teacherpreneur cohort was about to begin. Bettis saw the opportunity to be part of this program and recruited Russell and Montgomery. Bettis, who also has a background in teaching middle school students at East Hamilton, believed they had a great group, as all K-12 grade levels were well represented between the three of them.

Learning with Ozobots

The goal for the Gig City Girls event was to not only be Chattanooga’s large