We Can Code IT Mentors Northeast Ohio 8th Grade Girls On Tuesday, December 9th, We Can Code It mentored girls at IT’s For Girls, an event in which 8th grade girls from school districts in Northeast Ohio get together to participate in STEM projects and meet professional women in tech fields. The annual day-long event provides middle school girls with information and incentive to pursue their interests in STEM-related subjects and IT careers. The program is presented by and takes place at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. It includes six different STEM activities for the girls, including 3D printing and math activities. The kids also learn a lot about the importance of networking. The girls worked with We Can Code IT and 19 other women from Northeast Ohio tech businesses by asking networking questions and learning about career options in technology. The students watched a slideshow featuring women tech company CEOs. Seeing examples of women to role model themselves after, rather than the male-dominated images they typically see, can help girls understand that tech fields are attainable to them. We Can Code IT also mentored during the luncheon portion of the programming. We told the inquisitive girls at our table about computer science as a career choice, told them about making games in Scratch and Blockly, and asked a lot of questions about their interests and possible career paths to help guide them in the right direction. If you’d like to introduce a girl you know to computer science, you may want to show them Scratch, a programming language developed at MIT for kids.
Hedy Lamarr is best known as a glamorous and talented actress who captivated audiences during the Golden Age of film. But many don’t know that she was also a tech pioneer who helped pave the way for girls and women in computer science.
Inventor & Actress Paved Way for Women in Tech Hedy Lamarr is best known as a glamorous and talented actress who captivated audiences during the Golden Age of film. But many don’t know that she was also a tech pioneer who helped pave the way for girls and women in computer science. In 1942, Lamarr and her pianist, George Antheil, wanted to come up with a way to secure torpedo radio signals used in wartime. One problem with military technology during World War II was that radio signals were not secure. They were sent along one frequency band, which could easily be hijacked and controlled by enemies. While analyzing a player piano, Lamarr and Antheil used the 88 keys and the paper player roll for inspiration. They discovered that perforating a paper piano roll could switch the radio signals sent from a control center to a torpedo into a random pattern. Doing so in short, fast bursts among 88 different frequencies would make it difficult for enemies to intercept the signal and take control of torpedos. The method is called spread spectrum frequency hopping, and they dubbed it a Secret Communications System. Lamarr and Antheil received a patent for spread spectrum frequency hopping, and they donated the technology to the U.S. military which didn’t implement it due to apprehension about using paper player piano rolls in torpedos. The patent was rediscovered in the 1950s when private tech companies began developing wireless technologies. Spread spectrum frequency hopping makes it possible for all of us to use broadband technology. Without it, only large corporations could afford to buy and use limited radio space. We’re able to have multiple users share radio frequencies at the same time without interference because of spread spectrum frequency hopping. It enables a lot of the technology all of use on a daily basis to exist, including cell phone networks, WiFi, and Bluetooth technology. The military also now uses it in various capacities for encrypted communications. Lamarr was recognized for her tech contributions with an Electronic Frontier Foundation award in 1997, and she died in 2000. In the 1940s few women were involved in tech advancements, but today Lamarr is not only known as a glamorous actress. She’s a well respected role model for girls and women who are interested in tech and who want to contribute inventive ideas. To honor her 100th birthday, We Can Code IT is giving away free Hedy Lamarr posters. Hang them in your office, classroom, or home to inspire girls to go into tech. Click here to download yours now. Sources: http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~jones/cscie129/nu_lectures/lecture7/hedy/lemarr.htm https://w2.eff.org/awards/pioneer/1997.php http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hedy-lamarr-movie-star-inventor-of-wifi/2/ Hedy Lamarr – Empowering Girls and Women in STEM was originally published on We Can Code IT