FIRST Robotics 2014-2015 events scheduled

Rhode Island's New England Tech hosts robotics competition

2013 FIRST Robotics competition

The FIRST Robotics mini tournaments will be held at the New England Tech East Greenwich campus.  The events will bring as many as 16 Rhode Island High School robotics teams to NEIT for all-day competitions.

FIRST Qualifier

Saturday 11/ 22nd, Snow day Sunday 11/23

FIRST Qualifier

Saturday 12/6, Snow day Sunday 12/7

FIRST Qualifier

Saturday  1/3/15, Snow day Sunday 1/4

The Rhode Island State tournament will be held on Saturday February 7th at the Access Road campus.

For more information about FIRST Robotics contact Erin Flynn by phone at 800-736-7744 ext. 3462 or by email at eflynn@neit.edu.

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...]

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.

Women Coders Featured on Today Show

The Today Show recently did a segment with Maria Shriver highlighting the benefits, and importance, of women and girls becoming involved in the IT field – specifically coding.

Check out the entire segment below!

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