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Celebrate Computer Science Education
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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer
As I was walking past our school library this week I noticed that it’s Latin week. During the school year at Lake Highland Preparatory School we celebrate many events that has to do with different disciplines and I’m sure your school must as well. Days like Cinco De Mayo, Chinese New Year, etc. 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 the 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 because this school for the past four years has celebrated Grace Hopper with a luncheon to celebrate visionary women in math, science and technology. Several members of this Board agreed that we should as high school computer science educators recognize her. After further research, I discovered that Dr. Anita Borg and Dr. Telle Whitney back in 1994 organized a conference called The Grace Hopper Celebration which celebrated the continuing achievements and contributions of women in computing and over 450 women attended in Washington , D.C. 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 Gives Hoppers a Budget, Contributes to Its Scholarship Fund. As computer science teachers, we know of the accomplishments of Grace Hopper and it seems fitting to honor Grace Hopper 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. This day should be recognized as Computer Science Education. Student activities could include an essay contest with prizes on the life of Grace Hopper. Maybe a poster contest which could be displayed around school. In any event, Computer Science Education needs to be recognized and I ask that you join me to celebrate Grace Hopper on December 8th 2006. Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:00 AM Teaching AP CS , Celebrate Computer Science Education | Back to top

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