We recently got a message from the National Center for Women & Information Technology about the winner of their Bay Area affiliate award, Ana Peña , who happens to be a participant of Coalition member Techbridge. Read on to find out about her project--and how a girl in your community could be a winner too! Congratulations, Ana!
"Ana first became interested in programming through the Techbridge after-school program. She really enjoyed the challenging aspect of programming a robot to move and making a roller coaster function. At Techbridge, Ana has also worked on a project making a clay animation movie.
She loves to help other Techbridge students with their programming problems, and is the go-to person in her family if anyone has problems with their computers. Ana would like to combine her programming skills with her passion for architecture and maybe help to design and program roller coaster for amusement parks.
Unfortunately, interested and well-prepared young women like Ana often don’t choose a computer science major. Only 18% of computer and information science degrees were awarded to women in 2009 (11% at major research universities), though 57% of college degrees are awarded to women. (source NCWIT By the Numbers 2010) The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is designed to reverse this trend by identifying, recognizing and supporting young women interested in and aspiring to pursue a major in computing.
Founded in 2007, the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing has grown to a combined National and Affiliate program with local awards serving 22 states in 2011. To date NCWIT has recognized 855 young women and plans to grow the award program to a reach of 10,000 young women and recognize 1,000 award recipients annually.
Contrary to the name, the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is much more than an award program. Recipients are provided long-term support for their interests in computing through peer networking, mentorship, scholarships and access to opportunities.
Applications open September 15, 2011 for the 2012 competition. All high school young women residing in the US are eligible to apply for regional awards if offered in their area, as well as the national award. Girls, parents and teachers should visit www.aspirationsaward.org for more information about both opportunities."