When I found out that I was a recipient of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing-North Central Florida Affiliate, I was surprised and elated. I personally had very limited experiences in computing, but aspire to become a computer engineer. To be commemorated for our aspirations as well as achievements in computing and technology is a very unique honor.
This new tool is easy to use, unique to NCWIT members, and a win-win for both employers and candidates: members get more publicity for their open positions, and candidates get to see that our members support the recruitment and retention of women.
"Would you be interested in being a panelist at the 2012 NCWIT Bay Area Aspirations in Computing Awards?"
Being a 2010 Aspirations winner, I was definitely interested. How could I forget NCWIT and the people there who had inspired me to pursue computing in high school? Remembering all my remarkable experiences that had happened the past year that had stemmed from winning the NCWIT Aspirations Award, I replied to this question by email with an enthusiastic YES!
On Saturday March 3, 2012, I had the pleasure of serving as the master of ceremonies at the 3rd annual Bay Area Affiliate Aspirations in Computing Award Ceremony at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. This fantastic NCWIT program celebrates the hard work and talent of girls and teachers nationwide every year. It was a humbling and an inspiring moment. Twenty-three outstanding high school students from the San Francisco Bay Area were honored for their achievements in computer science.
In early December, I was introduced to the Motorola Mobility Grant project that NCWIT was offering for Aspirations recipients. This is a project where young women are engaged in building a mobile application on the Android platform.
March 3, 2012, the Bay Area Aspirations Award Ceremony took place at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Parents, teachers, supporters, and of course, the girls, filled the environment with smiles. The day was gorgeous, and the California sunshine definitely attended the event, too. Anyone could sense the excitement of the girls who were finally being told Good Job, Keep Going, You're Doing Great, You Can.
Today, NCWIT announced the Aspirations in Computing Video Challenge! This contest is exclusively for NCWIT Award winners and runners-up. The entire NCWIT community will be invited to participate in the voting. The top 10 videos in each category (individual and group – up to three members per group), as determined by the number of votes at the end of the contest will be considered finalists, and will be judged by a panel of NCWIT staff.
Has your institution embraced new approaches to teaching and learning? A recent conference at Harvard looked at this topic, finding that "A growing body of evidence from the classroom, coupled with emerging research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, is lending insight into how people learn, but teaching on most college campuses has not changed much." As higher education institutions see a student body increasingly concerned with its "ROI" and feel competition from non-traditional online or vocational models, many are pushing to evolve their practices - exchanging lectures for writing or quizzes, and teaching graduate researchers how to teach. Do you think an openness to new pedagogical approaches could open the door for teaching and learning computing among a broader audience?