The new platform that women can interpreted a technology such as physical computing and coding into their daily life as they would do DIY at home.
This project will create a platform catered to women and girls to be able to do DIY projects, thus, these smart home components will be helpful for them in their daily life all the while increasing their interest towards computer science. This platform offers downloadable code files from github (with description of each line), how to connect hardwares in video format and diagram (color code, non soldering), link to where to get the materials for each level of the project as well as a overall how to video that takes all the way through the project.
I am dedicating this project to Ann Pollina, one of the most wonderful women I ever met in my life and created a program that shape me who I am.
Ann Pollina was a successful professional woman. In addition to serving as Westover’s Math Department Chair, Director of Studies, Dean of Faculty and Head of School, Ann served on the boards of more than 25 local, statewide and national organizations. She held significant offices in a number of these organizations, including president of the Headmistresses Association of the East, president of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, and president of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. Her publications list is pages long, as is her CV of speeches, presentations, and organizing conferences and symposia. She has been honored by more organizations than I have time to mention, and her work on women in science and engineering and gender equity in education is, among people in the know, legendary. One of her greatest legacies at Westover, Women in Science and Engineering, known by the acronym WISE, is a truly singular program. We have found that though many schools tout STEM and STEAM programs, ours has a curricular reach that is unmatched. Ann began this program in 1991, long before most schools even began to speak about women in these fields. (From her memorial speech done by her husband)
Issues I found and want to address
Gender equality in technology and software development industry
In 2015, women held 57% of all professional occupations, yet they held only 25% of all computing occupations. And the numbers are even lower when considering women of color; for example, Latinas and Black women hold only 1% and 3% of these jobs, respectively. Furthermore, even fewer women are found in software development, technology leadership, or the other kinds of key roles that have a significant influence on future innovation. Consider that 88% of all information technology patents (from 1980–2010) are invented by male-only invention teams while only 2% are invented by female-only invention teams. These and other statistics imply that the technology the world uses today is being created by a relatively homogeneous group of people. (WOMEN IN TECH: THE FACTS 2016 UPDATE // See what’s changed and what hasn’t. By Catherine Ashcraft, Brad McLain, and Elizabeth Eger)
Despite its critical and growing importance, computer science is taught in only a small minority of U.S. schools. There currently are just over 42,000 high schools in the United States. But only 2,100 of them were certified to teach the AP computer science course in 2011, and in fact only 21,139 students took the AP exam. (Computer Science in US Secondary School by ECS)
Why I consider this project to be meaningful exploration.
- As a female creative programmer, the statistic on gender equality in the computer science industry make me sad. Fortunately I went to all girls school that believed in women in science and engineering and without feeling uncomfortable, just took WISE program that was offered for the credit. But the interest toward computer science unfortunately did not came out from WISE classes, it came from theater design things I was doing, I knew knowing how to code or do physical computing could do more effect in the theater. I mean yes, making LED blink with only few wire and alphabets was revolutionary, but it doesn't change my life or affect it at all. I think what is making all the girls away from the computer science is that lack of connection to their daily life. And that connection to their daily life might help making more girls be interested in computer science.
- As a start of this project, I thought I need something like Arduino Project Hub more dedicated to daily life things that girls would get attracted. For this to start I decided to DIY something I use everyday, I wake up one morning show myself in the mirror. I felt like many of the girls uses mirror everyday. So I decided to go for DIY smart mirror that takes parts, has levels of difficulty. This way I hope for girls to be able to connect their life to component of the computer science.