What We’ve Been Up To in 2013-14
StemWork Takes Best in State for Virginia
StemWork, a mobile app concept developed by Class of 2015 members Pooja Chandrashekar, Ellen Kan, Heather Lukas, Ramya Radhakrishnan, and Maddie Zug, has been selected as the Best in State Winner for Virginia for the 2014 Verizon Innovative App Challenge. StemWork has been designed to serve as a platform for women in STEM fields to garner confidence, interact with professionals, and network with other women in their field for jobs, internships, and other opportunities. Learn more about StemWork.
NCWIT VA/DC Award Affiliate Announces Winners
The National Center for Women & Information Technology’s (NCWIT) Virginia & Washington DC Competition Affiliate has named Sreya Atluri ‘15 and Maddie Zug ‘15 award winners for the 2014 competition. Only 18 women in the VA/DC area were awarded this honor. Satvika Kumar ’16 and Haley Stumvoll ’15 were named runner-ups. These women are being recognized for their computing-related aspirations and for their demonstrated, outstanding aptitude and interest in the field of computing; solid leadership ability; good academic history; and plans for post-secondary education. They will be recognized at an awards banquet in Richmond on March 15, 2014. The luncheon will be held in conjunction with the Capital Region Celebration of Women in Computing event at Virginia Commonwealth University.
NCWIT Recognizes Women with Aspirations in Computing
Pooja Chandrashekar ’15 has been selected as one of 35 national winners in the National Center for Women & Information Technology’s (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing contest, from among more than 2,300 applicants, representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and overseas military bases. She will receive $500 cash, a laptop computer, and an engraved plaque for both for her and the school. The national winners will be honored at a Bank of America Technology Stars of the Future Showcase & Awards Ceremony on March 15, 2014, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Additionally, Sreya Atluri, Ji-won (Joyce) Choi, Haley Stumvoll, and Maddie Zug, all members of the Class of 2015, have been recognized as national runners-up. These young women represent the top 15% of the applicants in the nation. They are still in the running for regional awards which will be announced in January.
Computer science teacher Ria Galanos’ entry into the NCWIT Computing Short Essay Contest for Educators was selected as one of the top five entries out of a total of 100 entries. Her inspiring essay encouraging young women to pursue careers in computing won her a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 tablet which she will donate to the App Development Club. Her essay will appear on the Aspirations in Computing blog sometime in the future.
Maddie Zug ’15 (pictured: 2nd from right) and computer science teacher Ria Galanos (pictured: far right) have been selected (along with Ankit Goyal ’14) to participate in Google’s Trailblazer program for 2013, a seven-week leadership academy designed to address the lack of universal access to computer science education for students 9-18. Google Trailblazer is a global network of leaders, advocates, and ambassadors for computer science education who will be charged with empowering youth and educators around the globe to be connected to and inspired by computer science. Trailblazer students are high school/secondary school youth 13+ and Trailblazer fellows are adult educators or advocates who are either instructing or innovating with computer science pedagogy to influence the world in a positive way. They attended the Trailblazer Summit at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA from November 15-17. Bonus: while visiting Stanford, they ran into Helen Hastings TJ’12 who talked with them about her work in promoting CS education and took them to experience a virtual reality lab.
Grant Winner Presents Work at International Teachers’ Conference
Satvika Kumar ’16 was awarded a 2013 Jefferson/Overseas Technology Institute (JOSTI) Educational Enhancement through Technology Grant for $1000. She had the opportunity to explore a technology that enhances learning and improves instruction. She developed an educational tool, Learning Pathways (LPP), an Android application that helps students learn sequenced content easily and more efficiently. LPP is an interactive platform that allows for a more hands-on approach to sequences and helps improve information retention (compared to rote memorization), increase speed and accuracy, and makes the learning process enjoyable. Satvika presented the prototype and discussed her work at the 2013 JOSTI Conference, an annual five-day technology training experience for overseas educators hosted by Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and the U.S. Department of State, on June 24, 2013.