Food Relief Assignment

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.

After racking my brain for an assignment that would appeal to girls’ desire to help people and have a real world application of their work, I assigned the Food Relief Calculator program.  The girls created a class called person and then inherited classes for children vs. adults.  They did research to figure out how much food and water a person of that age/weight class needed in one day.  They then used a program with an ArrayList to enter the people in a village and then to calculate how much food and water the relief agency would need to send in for them.  It wasn’t a bad assignment, but I still think that I might be able to find a better one for next year.

Advertisements

Challenging Myself

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.

Why?

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.

Why start a blog to talk about girls and technology?  The number of women awarded degrees in Computer Science has dropped from a peak in 2006.  I teach AP Computer Science at a girls’ school.  I majored in Biology.  I loved Calculus.  I learned HTML and CSS so that I could teach girls how to code web sites.  I learned FLASH so that I could get girls more interested in learning more about technology.  I learned Java when six student wanted more technology classes.  My own life experience shows me that girls are capable of mastering subject matter in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics, but are encouraged to focus on humanities and arts or change majors before earning their degree.  Today, I’m attending the STEM ThinkTank at Harpeth Hall where educators are gathering to talk about what we can do to keep girls interested in these subject areas.    Stay tuned.