17th Annual Women in Computing Day

Last Friday, April 24th, the Association for Women in Computing (AWC) held the 17th Annual Women in Computing Day at Virginia Tech. 60 local 7th grade girls from Blacksburg, Pulaski, Dublin and Floyd participated. Terri Mitchell, the vice-president of TMS Integration at IBM, opened the event with an introduction to women in computing. Following Mrs. Mitchell, the girls were separated into small groups and rotated through four exciting and interactive activities that exposed them to computers and computational thinking from different perspectives. These workshops included “Decoding your DNA” focused on code as it occurs in nature.   “Be the data”, which was a data analytic and visualization activity held in the Cube at the Moss Art Center.  “Squishy circuits” allowed the girls to create circuits using conductive play-dough, LEDs and batteries, and “Do it yourself Apps are a Snap!” introduced them to the Snap! Programming environment.

The girls and volunteers were given t-shirts that resulted from the annual AWC design competition. Women in Computing Day was organized by sophomore Aarathi Raghuraman and junior Divya Sharma. WCD has been supported by the Department of Computer Science and Computer Science Research Consortium for 17 years, and this year was aided by ICAT.

The day culminated a year of student-led activities from the AWC. Opportunities for both graduate and undergraduates to get involved with the AWC and shape next year to their own ideas can be pursued by sending email to awc@listserv.vt.edu.

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