(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
On a Saturday in September, 50 girls in middle and high school gathered at the Coppin State University Science and Technology Center to build Twitter bots, design embedded systems and learn about web security.
And that was just the morning session.
The second Girls in CS Summit, organized by Code in the Schools and Coppin State University, featured a day of workshops on a variety of tech topics. Along with exploring the skills behind creating technology, the sessions offered a chance to learn from women working in Baltimore’s tech community. In all, 19 community volunteers participated in the September 22 event.
To open the day, Coppin State University Assistant Professor of Math and Computer Science Dr. Leshell Hatley provided the keynote. Dr. Hatley explained the difference between a computer scientist and a computer engineer, for which was uniquely qualified as she holds both titles.
Dr. Hatley is the founder of STEAM and computer science education nonprofit Uplift, Inc., and got involved as an organizer of the event earlier this year. She soon suggested that the event be held at the three-year-old center on North Ave. in West Baltimore.
“I started teaching because I’m a computer scientist and a computer engineer and I know I enjoy it. So I felt other kids should be able to experience it for themselves and learn about technology,” she said.
During her talk, Dr. Hatley emphasized three principles: creativity, consistency and community. On the latter point, she urged the girls to connect with everyone in the room, including herself. She wanted to make sure that everyone could stay in touch in case it was the only event they attended. But following the event, she said she’s heard a familiar questions from attendees and parents: When’s the next one?
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