Rachel Ramsay wants young girls to feel good about themselves and to know they can do whatever they want.

That's not always the message they receive, especially when it comes to technology and computer science, Ramsay said.

She has been working to change that message with her Girls Go Digital! program, which she founded. She causes a positive disruption by encouraging girls to be creative with technology through exploring web design, digital photography, pixel art and other mediums.

Ramsay will be the keynote speaker at the second Impact Arts & Culture Conference in York this weekend. The three-day conference, hosted by The Cultural Alliance of York County and York College of Pennsylvania, includes a variety of presentations, workshops and panel discussions aimed at "All The Arts for All The People," according to a news release.

In the address, "Disruption by Design: Girls Go Digital," Ramsay will discuss how positive disruptions, forms of praise, can change lives.

Ramsay, who is based in southern Utah, said she learned during her graduate research that teenage boys and girls are interested in technology. But culturally, the two sexes tend to be treated differently. Girls are encouraged to do what they are good at while boys are told to work hard.

She hopes to change that pedagogy with positive disruptions. Her program allows girls to experiment and learn from their successes and failures, she said.

During her visit, she will be at Martin Library and working with children to create paper flashlights. The origami project will include putting an LED light in the flashlight. It is for ages 4 and older and will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Also as part of Ramsay's visit, she will be helping to develop a Girls Go Digital! program that will be used by the York County Libraries in the fall. There are not a lot of elementary-age science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs for girls in York, said Kelley Gibson, director of communications and engagement for The Cultural Alliance of York County.

"We know it will make a great difference here in our area in the future," she said.

About the conference

The 2015 Impact Arts & Culture Conference will be held Thursday through Saturday in York.

Big Idea Saturday is a new feature of the conference, and it is free and open to the public.

The programs include a tour of the hidden artistic treasures in York, how to build an art boat, or even sharing what York needs for the future.

Pre-registration is required because some of the programs have limited capacity.

Rachel Ramsay, founder of Girls Go Digital!, will work with children to create paper flashlights at Martin Library on Big Idea Saturday. She will be at the library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is for children 4 and up.

A few more spots might be open for the conference as well.

For more information, visit

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