Amidst dozens (if not hundreds) of overwhelmingly fun & interesting events programmed on campus for Maryland Day, one stood out to me as especially relevant to our project and our mission. From 10 to 12, in the Computer Science Instructional Center at the eastern edge of campus, girls from the Computer Science Connect program demonstrated their skills to visitors – and boy, do these girls rock. They can teach you how to program a robot or to make a game in Scratch. They can decipher complex messages using cryptographic techniques. And the list goes on.
One of our team members, Angel, is an instructor at this day camp, supported and financed in part by the Association of Women in Computing. Angel volunteered on Maryland Day to help make things run smoothly – although it is worth noting that all the “stations” were run entirely by the middle-school aged participants of previous CSC camps. And they were very much in charge of their skills, willing and happy to share them with all the visitors. The part that especially moved me was seeing dads bond with their daughters over a bit of Python code that was bugging, or over a discussion of optimal gear ratios in robots. Way to demolish those father-son stereotypes: your daughters, guys, are capable and willing to learn about the geek in you, so open up!
I will encourage my students at the Barrie school to register for this program – at $200 for two weeks, it’s a bargain. Registrations are open until May 10th so hurry!