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Let's Celebrate Computer Science Education at our School

As I was walking past our school library this week, I noticed that this is Latin week. During the school year at Lake Highland Preparatory School we celebrate many events that have to do with different disciplines and I'm sure your school must as well. So, I was thinking that we should do something school-wide to celebrate Computer Science Education.

As a member of the Faculty Advisory Board for Microsoft Corporation, my first thought was to send this group an e-mail and ask them what we should be celebrating and when. Daryll McDade, who manages our group and is in charge of supporting computer science education for Microsoft, suggested a Grace Hopper day celebrating her accomplishments in the computer science field and gave me a link to the Seattle Girls' School. For the past four years, this school has celebrated Grace Hopper with a luncheon focused on visionary women in math, science, and technology.

After further research, I discovered that in 1994, Dr. Anita Borg and Dr. Telle Whitney organized a conference called The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. This conference, held every two years, celebrates the continuing achievements and contributions of women in computing. The first conference was held in Washington, D.C. and over 450 people attended. Last year, this conference had 900 participants and highlighted the impact and history that women have made, are making, and will continue to make on technology and innovation.

More research led me to a group of woman called the Hoppers which was started by Theresa Stowell and Teri Schiel who were both engineers for Microsoft Corporation and gathered women programmers together to form a group that would give Microsoft women a forum to discuss some of the challenges they confronted in the workplace.

Today, Hoppers has more than 1,600 members across every Microsoft office in the United States and overseas. Any woman who works at the company and supports the Hoppers charter can be a member, regardless of job title or employment status (permanent, contractor, vendor, intern or part-time). Microsoft funds Hoppers and contributes to its scholarship fund.

As computer science teachers, we know of the accomplishments of Grace Hopper and it seems fitting to honor this pioneer on her birthday which is December 9th. Unfortunately, this day falls on a Saturday this year but we could celebrate it on Friday the 8th as Computer Science Education Day.

Student activities could include an essay contest on the life of Grace Hopper or perhaps a contest for posters which could be displayed around school. In any event, Computer Science Education needs to be recognized and I ask that you join me in celebrating Grace Hopper on December 8th 2006.

Brian Scarbeau,
Computer Science Department Head
Lake Highland Preparatory School
Orlando Fl
bscarbeau@lhps.org
http://sws.lhps.org

Comments

What an outstanding idea! I think this is something well worth promoting. The computing sciences are well worth celebrating and Grace Hopper is a wonderful symbol of the best of people in the field.

What an outstanding idea! I think this is something well worth promoting. The computing sciences are well worth celebrating and Grace Hopper is a wonderful symbol of the best of people in the field.

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