Today's guest post is from Sruti Modekurty. Sruti is a 2012 National Award Runner-Up and 2012 Northern California Affiliate Award Winner of our Award for Aspirations in Computing. She is a graduate of Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, California, and is currently a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University where she is pursuing a major in electrical and computer engineering. Sruti has been involved in FIRST and VEX robotics since 7th grade, and with her teams has participated in five World Championships.
Today's guest post is from Savannah Loberger, a 2013 National Award Winner and 2011 Oregon/SW Washington Affiliate Award Winner of NCWIT's Award for Aspirations in Computing. This summer, Savannah ran a STEM and computer science camp for middle school girls as part of our pilot AspireIT program. She is a 2013 graduate of Hillsboro High School, and will attend Oregon State University in the fall of 2013.
Naomi Shah is a 2013 National Award for Aspirations in Computing Runner-Up and 2013 and 2013 Oregon and SW Washington Award winner. She is a 2013 graduate of Sunset High School in Portland, Oregon, and will be a freshman Stanford this fall and will be pursuing science and engineering fields as possible majors.
This guest post was written by Briana Chapman, an NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing recipient and leader of one of our pilot AspireIT programs, addressing the lack of women in technology by actively engaging middle school girls with computing.
Last month, we attended and participated in the White House's Champions of Change for Tech Inclusion event. The event recognized individuals for their extraordinary work around expanding technology opportunities for young learners, especially minorities, women and girls, and others from communities historically underserved or underrepresented in tech fields.
On July 31, I attended the White House Champions of Change for Tech Inclusion event at the White House. At the event, I heard the Champions and prominent members in the tech community describe their “spark” moment: a moment when their interest in IT was nurtured through a mentor, experience, or event. I consider going to the Champions of Change event one of my “spark” moments, extending and enhancing my perspective of IT.
If people -- students, in particular -- could understand that programming is a skill, I believe that the stereotypes that exist about computer science and programming would wither. People might understand that computer science is not an end but a means to an end. In fact, computer science can be a means to an end of your choice.
You’ve heard about stereotype threat and how it impacts women’s performance on, say, math tests; but did you know that the impact of stereotype threat disappears when women take a math test using a fake name? A research study recently published in Self and Identity asked 110 women and 72 men to answer 30 multiple choice math questions, priming them beforehand by telling them that men typically outperform women. The authors also asked some of the volunteers to take the test under one of four aliases: Jacob Tyler, Scott Lyons, Jessica Peterson, or Kaitlyn Woods.