When I started taking my first engineering classes at Michigan State University to get my Electrical/Computer Engineering degree, it was clear to me that women were highly under-represented. As I entered the workforce to start my career at IBM, and then X-Rite, it was obvious this wasn’t just my observation. It was reality.
My wife, Kelli, recently told me about a viral video from GoldieBlox that has been getting all kinds of attention on the Web… and it is downright genius! This company is making a very valiant effort to help close this gap of women in engineering. Debbie Sterling (CEO) got her Mechanical Engineering degree from Stanford, and is on a mission of “disrupting the pink aisle” with products that are geared to inspire girls at an early in the art of Engineering.
I am the proud father of 2 intelligent, beautiful, and budding girls! My oldest, Natalie, who is just turned 9, has always shown an extremely strong interest in art, science, engineering, and just general tinkering. Her hobby/career endeavors include the desires to be an astronaut, artist, musician, robotics engineer, and animator. Don’t tell Natalie, but she has some exciting GoldieBlox goodness on the way for Christmas!
I posted last year about my adventure of co-creating our first video game Bacon Bits. Natalie is currently hooked on animation, and she spends hours playing on Scratch, which is an online animation/collaboration studio geared towards kids.
Trying to get kids excited about computers? Here are some other resources to check out:
- Karlin on using Minecraft as a fun introduction to programming.
- My post on exploring KidsRuby with my daughter.
- Atomic Object’s Bitcamp program for junior high girls.
As you can see, education and diversity are a big deal to us here at Atomic. We also host educational groups like GirlDevelopIt Detroit and the Ann Arbor PyLadies. There’s a growing need for software designers and developers, and we want to help meet it.