Girl Code: How Teens Are Breaking Barriers in the Tech World | TeenVogue.com

What can we do to help increase the number of girls that enter career paths that involve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers? Being a ‘techie’ doesn’t have to be for boys only.

From Teenvogue.com:

Photo: Getty Images; Art: Ashley Minette

These days, most everyone is tech-savvy—from being up to date on the coolest gadgets to hopping around on social media, it’s hard not to be. But as much as these things are an integral part of daily life, women are still woefully underrepresented in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—fields.

Only one-quarter of all computer science jobs are held by women, and the statistics aren’t improving: According to research, only 14 percent of all comp sci graduates last year were female. While the numbers can be discouraging, there’s a new crop of girl coders making themselves known in the tech world.

Jackie, 22, is one of them. She believes there’s a cultural stigma about girls in tech and admits to being a “secret coder” for years because she didn’t see herself in a profession dominated by “greasy dudes in old hoodies, crowded around a computer screen in a dark room.” Casey, a high school junior, says it’s a hard-to-break cycle. “Girls aren’t brought up to aspire to be in STEM, and we don’t have many role models,” she explains. “It’s hard to spark widespread interest: Not a lot of girls are in coding because not a lot of girls are in coding.”

Jackie’s desire to code began when she wanted to start a blog but was unsatisfied by the template designs available. She decided to customize her own by following tutorials online, and though she found the step-by-step instructions tedious at first, she learned to write her own code—and love it. “It’s like creating high-concept art,” she says.

LaTorria, an engineer at Microsoft, agrees that creativity is key. “Coding is similar to learning a new language,” she explains. In fact, when you code, you’re often writing in what are called programming languages. “Once you learn the language, you can speak it, or in this case, tell the code what task you would like the computer to perform. The interesting part about coding is discovering how truly creative you can be when you get over the initial challenges.”

Sixteen-year-old Ming taught herself to code in first grade using the MIT program Scratch, going on to learn languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. “For me, the most interesting part is the logic,” she says. “I love solving puzzles. That’s pretty much all coding is, detangling the different elements, getting them to line up, and then having them all work together.”

via Girl Code: How Teens Are Breaking Barriers in the Tech World | TeenVogue.com.

How to Get Girls Into Coding – NYTimes.com

Girls can code too.  So why does there continue to be a gender gap when it comes to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers? Let’s change that!

From the NYTimes.com:

WHEN I was 7 years old, I knew the capitals of most major countries and their currencies. I had to, if I wanted to track down a devious criminal mastermind in the computer game “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” On screen, the ACME Detective Agency would spit out clues like notable landmarks to help players identify the city where Carmen’s globe-trotting henchmen were hiding out. I wouldn’t learn how to pronounce Reykjavik for more than a decade, but I could tell you that its currency was called the krona.I was the child of Indian immigrants, and like any begrudging Bengal tiger cub, I penciled in fill-in-the-blank maps and memorized multiplication tables after dinner. I was much more motivated to learn about geography by chasing Carmen Sandiego on the family Macintosh Plus. I couldn’t confidently point to Iceland on a map. But I did become a technology reporter.

Natalie Rusk is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab who helped develop Scratch, an open-source programming platform where kids can code games and animation and then share projects and how-to tips. She thinks the next two years will determine whether coding can start to close the gender gap. “One of the key reasons to broaden participation is to get more diversity of who is designing these technologies,” she said. “It’s being presented as, ‘Learn how to program,’ ” she said, “but not, ‘What do you want to program? What’s your idea?’ ”

So what if, instead of trying to guess at what might get girls interested in technology, we looked at what’s already on their screens? While parents often worry about recreational “screen time,” some educators now believe that gaming could be a way to get girls interested in coding, and even to increase the numbers of girls in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — classes and schools. Reshma Saujani, founder of the nonprofit organization Girls Who Code, said, “We have to meet them where they are.”

“Students kept walking in asking to learn how to code wearing Minecraft T-shirts,’” said Stephen Foster, a founder of the San Diego-based organization ThoughtSTEM, which teaches kids ages 8 to 18 to code in after-school programs and summer camps. “Once it happened the 20th time, we started to realize, ‘Oh, hey, maybe these kids know something that we don’t.’ ”

[Read more...]

Surgeon Simulator for Playstation 4 announced

Simulators have been used in military training and by airlines in pilot training for some time now but could this be the beginning of a future requirement for surgeons in training? What other fields could game designers and developers help with a similar simulator?

From TheTechGets.com

Gamers are pretty desensitized to blood and guts — after all, you can only blow off so many zombie heads or impale so many bandits before you just aren’t squeamish anymore. However, it’s one thing to have blood and random goo splatter everywhere, but it’s quite another to see actual organs taken out of people’s bodies and examined up close. Enter Surgeon Simulator, the game that lets you tear open a very unlucky patient and completely obliterate his vital organs with drills, hammers and other implements of destruction.

Surgeon Simulator has been around for a while now as a PC game and an iOS app but now it’s coming to your living room TV with a new port for the PlayStation 4. On the official PlayStation blog, developer Bossa Studios explains the challenges that the company faced in bringing its controls for the game over to the PS4‘s DualShock4 controllers.

“The first and most obvious step to take was to map hand movement and hand rotation to the left and right thumb sticks, as this is what players tend to expect on a console game,” the studio explains. “The finger controls were less obvious. We had a lot of ideas which turned out to be a bit too clumsy even for Surgeon Simulator. In the end we decided to lose the one-button-per-finger design used on the PC and instead condense it down into just two of the shoulder buttons.”

via Surgeon Simulator for Playstation 4 announced.

Faculty Update: New Assistant Professor

Sal Gelsomino

Sal Gelsomino

Sal Gelsomino, Assistant Professor Information Technology

Sal has made the transition from being an adjunct instructor to full-time instructor at NEIT. For the past 14 years, he has taught in the Network Engineering concentration of the IT program. As part of his instruction, he has prepared students for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification exam.

While teaching part-time at NEIT, Sal was a mathematics teacher at Shea High School in Pawtucket and at North Providence High School. In addition, he instructed students in the Cisco Networking Academy and coached after-school athletics at Shea. In North Providence, he was yearbook advisor and also a coach. Sal’s business background includes several years as Membership Manager at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Rhode Island where he managed staff and ensured agency compliance with state and federal guidelines. Sal has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics, both from Providence College.

 

The 100 Best Jobs | Best Jobs | US News Careers

From US News:

All jobs aren’t created equal. In fact, some are simply better than the rest. U.S. News 100 Best Jobs of 2014 offer a mosaic of employment opportunity, good salary, manageable work-life balance and job security. Some careers offer just the right mix of these components – for instance, nearly 40 percent of our picks are health care jobs – but the list also includes strong showings from occupations in the social services and business sectors. And for the first time, our No. 1 pick is a technology job.

Click the Link for the full list The 100 Best Jobs | Best Jobs | US News Careers.

New England Tech offers 28 of the TOP 100:

1. Software Developer

2. Computer Systems Analyst

6. Registered Nurse

9. Web Developer

11. Information Security Analyst

12. Database Administrator

17. Physical Therapist Assistant

21. Occupational Therapy Assistant

22. Clinical Laboratory Technician

24. Information Technology Manager

28. Veterinary Technologist and Technician

30. Computer Programmer

32. Respiratory Therapist

37. Construction Manager

42. Business Operations Manager

45. Medical Assistant

47. Medical Equipment Repairer

52. Computer Systems Administrator

53. Medical Secretary

54. Cost Estimator

69. Patrol Officer

77. Surgical Technologist

78. Computer Support Specialist

79. Administrative Assistant

92. Architect

95. Office Clerk

96. Auto Mechanic

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

How Much Data is Generated Every Minute – Infographic

Imagination, diverse skill set bring creative success for RI artist

Fantastic story in the Valley Breeze about New England Tech Graphics instructor, William “Bill” Culbertson. Bill has had a very creative and eclectic career.  Congratulations! Bill on winning start up funds through Direct Capital’s national “Small Biz, Big Success” award competition. We are very fortunate to have such a diverse faculty member.

William Culbertson holds “Derb” a character he created for a childrens television program. Behind him are the other puppets that he created for the show. Culbertson’s media entertainment company, “Whooplah,” recently won a national competition for a video he produced explaining his program. (Valley Breeze photo by David Wuerth)

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Call it an occupational hazard.

In William Culbertson’s century-old home on Warren Avenue in North Smithfield, you’ll find a complete room dedicated to his collection of Disney paraphernalia, with his favorite characters lined up along shelves, sitting on the television stand, and even painted on the walls.

In the basement, four 3-foot-by-4-foot clay models depict Kermit the Frog and other scenes from Jim Henson’s early work.

Four giant handmade puppets sit upon a piano in the living room, while dozens of Culbertson’s sculptures grace the home’s shelves and ledges.

His back yard, until recently, was filled with Styrofoam and other materials that could come in handy for building a set.

Culbertson has made a lifelong career out of creating and replicating artwork, including both the sculptures and designs that you typically find in parks and town squares, and the more colorful scenes and characters that make up childhood fantasies.

“As a freelancer, you can’t just focus on one area,” Culbertson said. “In order to keep success, keep the phone ringing and keep the money flowing, you have to do several things.”

Click the link to continue reading via Imagination, diverse skill set bring creative success for North Smithfield artist | The Valley Breeze.

PAX East is a Hit

New England Tech students stop by our PAX East booth.

The Penny Arcade Expo known as PAX was the setting on April 11-13, 2014, for 90,000 gaming enthusiasts in search of the latest and greatest in gaming technology. PAX East, one of five international tradeshows, was held in Boston with NEIT faculty and students making their debut at this event as they showcased what was deemed as the hit of the show, the Virtusphere.Virtusphere

This show-stopping 10-foot hollow sphere gave all who stepped inside the ultimate virtual gaming experience. The Virtusphere rotates in any direction based on the user’s motion while he/she is wearing a head mounted display known as the Oculus Rift. Sensors collect and send data to a computer in real time and the user’s movement is replicated within the virtual environment. Not only is the Virtusphere a gamer’s delight, the sphere may be programmed for applications that include military, counter-terrorism, police, and firefighter training in a safe environment. Many industry experts agree that virtual reality is the future of gaming.

The game utilized in the Virtusphere was created by New England Tech gaming students Naveed Sameja and Harold Ramsay III with guidance from Assistant Professor David “DJ” Johnson. The concept of the game called “A Ghostly Night” was to catch the light-orbs with outstretched hands. Because of its popularity, a lottery was developed with more than 300 show attendees winning the chance to experience the Virtusphere first-hand.

New England Tech was the only Rhode Island college represented at PAX East, and with the overwhelming response of this year’s exhibit, gaming faculty and students are already talking about next year’s show.

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, including Game Development and Simulation Programming or Video Game Design.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

Teach Coding to Girls Before Negative Stereotyping Starts – NYTimes.com

Why are less women choosing to enter computer science classes NOW, than in 1984?  Seriously?  According to the New York Times, there will be over 1 million jobs in computer related fields by 2020.  Let’s close the gender gap, beginning now.

HBO’s “Silicon Valley” highlights the gender gap in technology fields.

From NYTimes.com:

It’s 1984 and you’re sitting in your college Computer Science class. You take a look around the classroom of 100 students and count 37 women.

Fast forward to today. It’s 30 years later and the world has changed quite a bit. Women have become the majority in college and the majority in the workforce. We’re approaching gender parity in the life sciences and mathematics fields. These new devices called laptops are everywhere.

Teaching computer science to girls has the potential to turn these eager consumers of technology into unstoppable creators of it.

Today, in your classroom of 100 C.S. majors, 12 will be women.

The gender gap in technology has never been wider, and with the 1.4 million jobs that will be available in the computing related fields by 2020, we need a national, girl-led movement to close it.

via Teach Coding to Girls Before Negative Stereotyping Starts – NYTimes.com.

Young Girls Changing the World

Science and technology are NOT just for boys!  Too few girls enter these careers.  Let’s change that!

Meet 7 Young Girls Changing the World, One Code at a Time

For the 20th Anniversary of the ESSENCE Festival, were paying special attention to technology and its ever changing landscape. This year, ESSENCE Festival is incororporating a #YesWeCode initiative aimed at exposing the youth to computer science. We caught up with some young women from Girls Who Code and asked them them what inspired them to start coding.

via Meet 7 Young Girls Changing the World, One Code at a Time | Essence.com.