Lucy Sanders on Aspirations in Computing and ATLAS

September 1, 2007

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Lucy Sanders:  Hi, I'm Lucy Sanders and I'm speaking to you form the ATLAS Center on the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado. Atlas stands for the Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society and I am the executive resident. This is a high‑tech state of the art teaching and learning center and you're going to love the technology we have here. There's a digital news room, there's a two story black box performance studio where you can infuse technology with all kinds of performing arts. There are kiosks in the lobby where you can display digital art, and my personal favorite is the tower. It has a high‑tech projection system that lights up the night. Doesn't it make you want to go back to school again?

The National Center for Women and Information Technology or NCWIT is housed in the ATLAS Center and I'm the CEO. NCWIT is a capacity building coalition of over 100 hundred corporations, universities and non-profits, all working passionately to increase women's participation in the creation of new technical products and services.

Rather than have me talk about the mission of NCWIT and why it's so critical, I want to turn the floor over to some of our recent K-12 aspirations in computing award winners. You're going to hear it directly from them why the mission of NCWIT is so critical and why we need the hopes and passion and the creativity of young women like these in the development of new technology.

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Kamaria:  When I came to the university school of science and technology, I really didn't know all that much about technology. I created my own calculator on a computer. I thought that was pretty cool. It took them forever. [laughs] So when the calculator was done, I was like, "Yeah, I made a calculator!" I created that program, and all the binary numbers and I did all of that, so whenever I can create something like that, that's the coolest part of technology. [music]

Kim:  In my computer science class, I am the only girl. I was shocked. The first time I went in there, I was definitely intimidated. It was comforting to know that my teacher was a girl. I competed for C++ programming and in that competition I had to write a program. Kind of like a mock sewing system? Which was a lot of fun to do. In my competition of C++ programming, I was the only girl at both my district event and also state competition. One problem I would like to solve, something like identity theft, I would like to do something to help.

[music]

Colette:  The most exciting thing I have ever created was my robot. I'm thinking of getting a career in video game production. The most exciting thing about technology is that there's always something you don't know, then it's nice when you make something like the robot, or if you're doing an animation or a website. Once you’re done you have this awesome thing, you're like, "I made that." [music]

Daniela:  I actually didn't know a lot about computers so I was like OK, this sounds interesting. I'm working on a senior DVD. I've been working with another girl, we have a Gantt chart, which keeps us on track, If either of us get behind, I'm like OK this is what I'm going to do, by this time, at this moment so it's on time. [music]

Alia:  I would try to make some kind of a way for the world to work together and be more peaceful. I'm planning to be a diplomat. I want to help developing countries, and I know for developing countries to be more modernized, they have to have technology like we have. There's some kind of solution. I don't know what it is but I'm going to work on finding it when I get to college. [laughs] [music]

Alia:  My family is proud of me.

Christina: They like it because if something goes wrong with one of the computers at home they ask me to fix it.

Daniela: There happy that I can help them out [music]

Christina:  They think it's pretty cool.

Daniela: There like that's a really cool thing.

Christina: There always like wow that's really awesome that you're going to do that kind of thing. [music]

Daniela:  The ones that aren't on the program. The wish they were because we get all the computers [music]

Kim:  They really admire what I do. [music]

Kim:  It's a real honor.

Alia: Women aren't in these fields, especially girls that are in classes, so the fact that I'm being recognized by a women's association for this award is huge.

Kamaria: My aunt, she cried. [music]

Lucy:  They said it so much better than I could. I believe passionately that we need women's creative thoughts factored into the design of technology upon which our society increasingly depends on. It's my personnel mission, and I know it's one that many of you share as well. So in closing, I'd like to thank you all for what you are doing and what you will do in the future to‑make sure more women are involved in the creation of technology. Thank you.