teaching 4th graders computer science

One of the many inspirations I came away from GHC with is to volunteer in my youngest’s 4th grade class and expose the kids to compsci.   That’s a big factor in getting girls interested in it as a major and career.  Luckily,  the teacher is science-focused, and the curriculum is science-lacking, so this works out well.

Here’s the lesson plan I’ve put together, with great great help from the hour of code project.

 

I think in 90 minutes, I can deliver an introduction to computer science, coding, loops, if statements, and relate it all to how 3D printing works.

Male Allies Panel at Grace Hopper

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is in Phoenix this year, and I’m fortunate to attend.  Women in technology are the minority, so coming together and seeing so many others like myself is a bit magical and comforting.

I work for Go Daddy (disclaimer: my opinions are mine, not theirs), which has had an awful history of misogynistic ads and public relations.  As our CEO said, when he interviewed he found that public image didn’t match the internal culture, and I agree.  Internally, I think we’re a supportive environment that values diversity.  We don’t do everything right (yet), but top down its clear that we’re on the right track.

I’ve been trying to understand the hateful comments towards the male allies panel at Grace Hopper yesterday, much of it directed towards Go Daddy.  Certainly,  I empathize with frustration towards Go Daddy’s actions in the past and image still haunted by them.  The outrage seems to come in a couple forms.

1. Why are there men in this women’s conference?

2. Go Daddy is a bunch of pigs.

 

Supporting women in tech isn’t a women’s issue.  It’s a tech issue, and tech has guys too.  It frustrates me to the highest level to see minorities like women in tech being exclusionary.  The point of GHC isn’t to be a women’s only clubhouse, it’s to advance women in computing.  That we have a panel with C levels from big tech companies who all want to fix the problem is wonderful, and helpful.  Tearing them down by making misogynistic buzzword bingo cards isn’t.