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Computer Scientist Appears on America's Got Talent

Inaccurate stereotypes about what computer scientists look and act like abound. Our students see them in popular media and hear about them from friends and family. The good news is that if we look a little bit we can find a wealth of diverse examples of computing professionals for students to identify with. Let me point you to a few. Tell us about your favorites and how you incorporate them into your classroom activities.

The latest CSTA podcast at:

http://csta.acm.org/Communications/sub/Podcasts.html

is an interview with Miral Kotb, a dancer, choreographer, entrepreneur, AND a computer scientist. You may have seen her in the iLuminate performance that placed third in the final competition of America's Got Talent television. Invite your students to listen to her describe how she has combined her passion for dance with computer science to create an innovative new form of dance and an exciting career.

Check out the "I Learned to Program because" site at:

http://www.ilearnedtoprogram.com/

Each time the site is refreshed a new quote appears. Many have links to the professional sites of the authors with photos, resumes, and current projects.

Explore the videos from the University of Washington at:

http://www.cs.washington.edu/whycse

and listen to students and professionals in A Day in the Life and Reasons to Choose CSE talk about cool CS careers, the job market, and new technology careers.

NCWIT provides NCWIT Entrepreneurial Heroes is a series of magazine-style audio interviews highlighting women entrepreneurs in information technology (IT) careers at:

http://ncwit.org/resources.res.interview.php?action=category&id=1

NCWIT Heroes are women innovators from startups, small companies, and non-profits, whose ideas and products are changing the way we think, work, play, and communicate. Listen as these successful, creative, and technical women discuss their lives and their work – how they first get involved with technology, why they chose to be entrepreneurs, and what advice they would give to young people interested in IT or entrepreneurship.

Women in Technology (UK) invited members to share their stories. Learn about their careers in the United Kingdom at:

The Black Collegian Online lists 10 African-American Role Models in Science and Technology who are phenomenal individuals holding top-level management positions in cutting-edge disciplines. They make decisions that affect the quality of our daily lives. You can find more information at:

http://www.black-collegian.com/issues/1stsem07/role_models.htm

Are you thinking about setting up your own mentoring program or just interested in inviting computer scientists from the community into your classroom to share their stories? Take a look at the Resource Guide and Toolkit from Techbridge at:

http://www.techbridgegirls.org/RoleModels.aspx

This is a resource guide to help role models and corporations host effective classroom visits and worksite field trips. A toolkit CD supplements this guide, containing sample hands-on activities, icebreaker activities, a Future Engineer Certificate, and other resources to make outreach fun and engaging.

Check out Career Forward Review Guide interview lesson plan on DigiGirlz site at:

http://www.microsoft.com/about/diversity/en/us/programs/digigirlz/default.aspx

And don't forget the other CSTA resources for teaching about computing careers. Posters, brochures and videos are ready for your classroom at:

http://csta.acm.org/Resources/sub/BrochuresPostersVideos.html

You will find several described in the January CSTA Voice newsletter, now available online at:

http://csta.acm.org/Communications/sub/CSTAVoice.html

Pat Phillips
Editor, CSTA Voice

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