Note: This post is from a previous blog about teaching technology at an all girls school. That blog was entitled “Girls. Technology. Action!” and ran during 2008.
In her keynote at the NCGS STEM Think Tank, Dr. Stacey Kline noted that
Many young women choose science because they want to help people, animals and the earth and they want to be connected to the objects of study. It is important that science curriculum allow girls to make these connections.
Since then, I’ve been asking myself, how can I apply this to teaching AP Computer Science. Right now, my students are coming to the end of a unit on Inheritance. I want to design an end of unit programming project that incorporates all of the programming skills needed and meets the requirement of helping people, animals, or the earth. Most programming examples to demonstrate inheritance focus on HR databases or on a hierarchy of mechanical devices. I’m trying to think of examples that seem to be more based in an actual reality, but that could be the basis for a program that does something helpful. Wish me luck.