The final Girls Create with Technology session of the year was held Saturday, May 10, 2014. Dr. Cindy Howard led a session in which she taught the attendees how to write software applications that draw and make music on the Raspberry Pi computer platform. The tools Dr. Howard showed were Sonic Pi and the Turtle Graphics package for the Python programming language. It was another great opportunity for the attendees to learn how to develop fun and interactive software, and it was yet another chance to play around with the remarkably powerful and even more remarkably inexpensive Raspberry Pi. It was an excellent way to conclude the Girls Create Technology series, which was sponsored by AT&T’s Aspire program and aimed to introduce high school girls to the wonderful opportunities available to them in Computer Science.
Nationwide, only 12% of students who major in Computer Science are female. There is no good reason for this gender imbalance, and universities everywhere have been scrambling to figure out the reason and how to address it. Through AT&T’s generosity, we in Computer Science at Lewis were able to work with over twenty young women over the past year. With Dr. Howard’s leadership and vision, we taught the girls about robotics, programming, web design, and networking. They learned how to use computers to control physical devices wirelessly and over a wired connection. The learned a number of important skills. Just as importantly, they learned that Computer Science is not “man’s work”. Rather, Computer Science is a creative, immersive, rewarding area of study that spurs innovation that appeals to and serves everyone.
Girls Create with Technology was a unique program, and we are proud to have created and offered it here at Lewis. We wish the girls good luck in their studies, and we hope to see them in our Computer Science classes at Lewis soon.