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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Event helps girls stay safe in cyberspace

By Zenaida Serrano
Advertiser Staff Writer


16th annual Science Symposium for Girls

8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday

Sacred Hearts Academy, 3253 Wai'alae Ave.


Register: 734-5058, ext. 262, rortogero@sacredhearts.org

Learn more: www.sacredhearts.org

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The Science Symposium for Girls, Saturday at Sacred Hearts Academy, features a parents-only workshop on Internet safety and information on guiding tweens to safely navigate cyberspace.

Among the tips:

Keep the computer in a common area in the house, not in your child's room.

Keep communication open, and ask questions regarding your kids' computer use.

Make sure your children do not reveal any personal information online.

Tell them to never have a "face-to-face" meeting with anyone they meet online.

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Parents: How do you guard your children against Internet predators? Join the conversation at WWW.HAWAIIMOMSLIKEME.COM.

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Cyber stalkers. Sex videos. Online bullies.

These are just a few examples of the dangers awaiting tweens in cyberspace.

"We think it's important for parents to know what their children are doing and to keep track of what they're doing (online)," said Charlene Takeno, coordinator of the Missing Child Center-Hawai'i.

Takeno is among the speakers at an Internet safety workshop for parents at the 16th annual Science Symposium for Girls, Saturday at Sacred Hearts Academy, which is sponsoring the free event. The symposium is open to girls in grades 5 through 8 (they don't have to be Sacred Hearts students) and their parents.

The event is an opportunity for young girls to explore careers available to women in the fields of math, science, engineering and technology. Each year the symposium draws more than 450 girls and 200 parents.

The morning program consists of hands-on workshops for the students by local professionals, including an engineer, respiratory therapist, pharmacist, physical therapist, videographer, marine biologist and astronomer. Students can choose two sessions to attend from a selection of 19 workshops.

The parents-only workshop features an Internet safety panel providing tips on how parents can communicate with their children and guide them to safely navigate cyberspace.

Experts from Sacred Hearts and the Department of the Attorney General's Hawai'i Internet and Technology Crimes Unit, and the Missing Child Center-Hawai'i, will cover Internet safety issues in Hawai'i.

"It's good for parents to know just what kind of preventive measures they can take," Takeno said.

Reach Zenaida Serrano at 535-8174. Follow her Twitter updates at www.twitter.com/zenaidaserrano.