(Reblogged from girlengineer)

Google is committed to encouraging underrepresented students to seek degrees in computer science. What ideas do you have for ways in which you can help increase diversity in the field of computer science?

As a female growing up in an all-girls environment in Silicon Valley, I’ve never been told “you can’t do that” because I am a girl. In middle school computer science, I learned that this was not always the case and women are still in the minority in CS, even in my own backyard. Thankfully, my all-girls schools have allowed me to pursue leadership roles like Programming and Electronics Lead in computer science and engineering that I probably would not have gotten on a coed First Robotics Competition (FRC) team.

When I do encounter sexism at coed FRC events, I am only more determined to become a woman in STEM. In sophomore year I was working on our robot when a male mentor from another team came over and started asking questions about our robot. After a few questions, he asked, “So you don’t need any guys around to make it work?” “No!” I exclaimed, outraged. “Of course not!” Another time, an announcer thought a team was all-girls simply because their team captain was female. These stereotypes that women can’t be successful in STEM or that women don’t hold leadership positions in STEM fields just encourage me to prove them wrong.

These stereotypes need to change for women to achieve parity in both engineering and computer science, and I believe the best way to do so is to get more girls interested in STEM activities earlier. My first experience with the subject was competing in the First Lego League (FLL), and I didn’t have to know what programming or engineering was to enjoy it. All I knew was that I was creating a robot that completed tasks. The satisfaction of seeing what I built succeed encouraged me to pursue more. I want every girl to be excited about creating things, so I volunteer at the Science Saturdays my robotics team holds for underprivileged fifth- and sixth-graders; I helped start my school’s middle school FLL teams; I help teach middle school girls Scratch and Python; and I make sure every student on Robotics feels included in making the final product.

At the same time, I have been encouraged at every moment by my robotics team mentors, teachers, parents, and older robotics team members. These strong, relatable, smart, and funny role models are the people I aspire to be. I might have given up if not for the adults in my life that pushed me to be my best, take the hardest classes, and always told me I could do anything I wanted.

From my own personal experience, I’ve found that a fascination with the world around you, a love of creating things, and plenty of people to look up to for guidance and support are crucial to a girl’s interest in STEM fields. The more we nurture this love of learning and support girls through every phase in their lives, the more women we will have in STEM and CS, and finally, I will not be in the minority. 

[Ask me to talk about women in CS, and I will.]

Adventures of the Carlypool

I’m going to be an aunt. I don’t like the word ant, because it makes me feel small.
I actually have to do stuff. It’s messing with my brain.


"When I outgrow a hand, we can easily make a new one," explains 12-year-old Leon McCarthy of his "cyborg" hand. His path into this specialized technology began when his father Paul found a video of 5-year-old Liam Dippenaar’s Robohand, a mechanical, prosthetic hand that can be 3D-printed at home from designs that are available for free on Thingiverse. (And there’s even a newer, snap-together version. Materials for it cost around $5.)

Read/listen to the fuller story on NPR. And check out more videos about prosthetics in the archives.

via Laughing Squid.


(Reblogged from thekidshouldseethis)




This made me smile

Made me feel just a little better this morning

Made me teary

(Source: awesomephilia.com)

(Reblogged from girlengineer)


Got gravity? For my crewmate Tom Marshburn it was a tough adjustment. Cute video from JSC Students.

This is pretty hilarious.

(Reblogged from colchrishadfield)
(Reblogged from origamipeople)

Lean In

I don’t know what it is about Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In that bothers me, or why everyone thinks it’s a big deal. Specifically, why Ms. Kauffman quotes the book in every speech. Is everyone surprised that there’s a woman in technology that can also write?

I don’t disagree with the message. I’m all for trying new things and pushing my comfort zone. (Wait, is it about challenging gender expectations? Maybe I should read this book.) In either case, I almost feel insulted that I need to be told to be bold. I consider myself an engineer, and yes I know that’s a male-dominated field, but honestly, I don’t care. And I’m pretty sure I’ll continue not to care in the future, because I am that kind of person.

I’m unsure whether it’s Castilleja that has molded this spirit in me or if it was some other influence. But I had already begun to lean into discomfort well before this year. I am not afraid to make a fool of myself. I tried water polo in freshman year, having never tread water correctly; I turned in an essay entitled “Why I Hate Holden” to a teacher who loved him; and I did track this year while simultaneously proclaiming that I am not a running person. I even wrote slash fiction for my final English project this year, partly to see if I could get away with it and partly to have fun. Clearly, I take risks that I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle or do well in. I am absolutely surprised when my expectations are different from what actually happens, but I learn the most from my failures.

The other part of “Lean In” that I take to heart is the directive to push boundaries. Our school doesn’t have a programming course? Why not? I’ll push for that to happen. Someone thinks girls shouldn’t be using power tools? Why is that? I’ll change their mind. The Administration thinks a certain teacher is the perfect choice for a week-long adventure to another country? They probably don’t get enough of our feedback. I’ll tell them. Some of my pushing back has been rude, I will admit, but Castilleja has allowed me to recognize my audacity, apologize, and move forward. Some of my boldness, though, I don’t regret, and I wonder why. Is it because my classmates came to me afterwards thanking me for speaking up? I would rather be supported by my friends than be approved of by some adult that doesn’t know me. I suppose this moral compass will gain me enemies, but these are the enemies I have the strength to stand against, and I know I will never be complicit and complacent if I always speak up.

I don’t think this complexity can be summed up in the two words, “lean in.” After all, this statement lacks a subject and an object (though I applaud it for its verb). Who should lean in? Me? You? Politicians? Women? Men? Toddlers? Lean in to what? Adversity? Conversations? To see down someone’s shirt? (not my words) The cool fan breeze on a hot afternoon? These and so many questions race through my head when our head of school quotes the title of Sheryl Sandberg’s new book. Instead of saying, “Lean in,” I would ask, “How have you pushed yourself and others to change for the better?” That question, I think, would elucidate a much better discussion.




I am really glad this got so many notes (300 is a lot for me lol)…. but not because I want the notes or whatever but because when I saw this comic it made me feel really weird and sad inside and I thought that I wanted a lot of people to see it too

it makes a point thats really difficult to explain with words in such an artful way and it’s not something I thought about muc

(Reblogged from origamipeople)






Today on the National Weather Service’s website.

Then there’s this image


i’m done

Fucking Trekkies.


See Also http://xkcd.com/1126/

(Reblogged from origamipeople)


from: http://defnesumanblogs.com/

To my friends who live outside of Turkey:

I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.

Four days ago a group of people who did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and students.  Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least one in every neighborhood! The tearing down of the trees was supposed to begin early Thursday morning. People went to the park with their blankets, books and children. They put their tents down and spent the night under the trees.  Early in the morning when the bulldozers started to pull the hundred-year-old trees out of the ground, they stood up against them to stop the operation.

They did nothing other than standing in front of the machines.

No newspaper, no television channel was there to report the protest. It was a complete media black out.

But the police arrived with water cannon vehicles and pepper spray.  They chased the crowds out of the park.

In the evening the number of protesters multiplied. So did the number of police forces around the park. Meanwhile local government of Istanbul shut down all the ways leading up to Taksim square where the Gezi Park is located. The metro was shut down, ferries were cancelled, roads were blocked.

Yet more and more people made their way up to the center of the city by walking.

They came from all around Istanbul. They came from all different backgrounds, different ideologies, different religions. They all gathered to prevent the demolition of something bigger than the park:

The right to live as honorable citizens of this country.

They gathered and marched. Police chased them with pepper spray and tear gas and drove their tanks over people who offered the police food in return. Two young people were run over by the tanks and were killed. Another young woman, a friend of mine, was hit in the head by one of the incoming tear gas canisters. The police were shooting them straight into the crowd.  After a three hour operation she is still in Intensive Care Unit and in  very critical condition. As I write this we don’t know if she is going to make it. This blog is dedicated to her.

These people are my friends. They are my students, my relatives. They have no «hidden agenda» as the state likes to say. Their agenda is out there. It is very clear. The whole country is being sold to corporations by the government, for the construction of malls, luxury condominiums, freeways, dams and nuclear plants. The government is looking for (and creating when necessary) any excuse to attack Syria against its people’s will.

On top of all that, the government control over its people’s personal lives has become unbearable as of late. The state, under its conservative agenda passed many laws and regulations concerning abortion, cesarean birth, sale and use of alcohol and even the color of lipstick worn by the airline stewardesses.

People who are marching to the center of Istanbul are demanding their right to live freely and receive justice, protection and respect from the State. They demand to be involved in the decision-making processes about the city they live in.

What they have received instead is excessive force and enormous amounts of tear gas shot straight into their faces. Three people lost their eyes.

Yet they still march. Hundred of thousands join them. Couple of more thousand passed the Bosporus Bridge on foot to support the people of Taksim.

No newspaper or TV channel was there to report the events. They were busy with broadcasting news about Miss Turkey and “the strangest cat of the world”.

Police kept chasing people and spraying them with pepper spray to an extent that stray dogs and cats were poisoned and died by it.

Schools, hospitals and even 5 star hotels around Taksim Square opened their doors to the injured. Doctors filled the classrooms and hotel rooms to provide first aid. Some police officers refused to spray innocent people with tear gas and quit their jobs. Around the square they placed jammers to prevent internet connection and 3g networks were blocked. Residents and businesses in the area provided free wireless network for the people on the streets. Restaurants offered food and water for free.

People in Ankara and İzmir gathered on the streets to support the resistance in Istanbul.

Mainstream media kept showing Miss Turkey and “the strangest cat of the world”.


I am writing this letter so that you know what is going on in Istanbul. Mass media will not tell you any of this. Not in my country at least. Please post as many as articles as you see on the Internet and spread the word.

As I was posting articles that explained what is happening in Istanbul on my Facebook page last night someone asked me the following question:

«What are you hoping to gain by complaining about our country to foreigners?»

This blog is my answer to her.

By so called «complaining» about my country I am hoping to gain:

Freedom of expression and speech,

Respect for human rights,

Control over the decisions I make concerning my on my body,

The right to legally congregate in any part of the city without being considered a terrorist.

But most of all by spreading the word to you, my friends who live in other parts of the world, I am hoping to get your awareness, support and help!

Please spread the word and share this blog.

Thank you!

For futher info and things you can do for help please see Amnesty International’s Call for Urgent Help

Amazing what can happen in a few short days. I thought Turkey was OK in terms of human rights but this is definitely not OK.

(Reblogged from origamipeople)


self-explanatory, but i’ll explain anyway:

this teacher has a no cursing policy, with a two-strike system on f-bombs. We students have dreamed of the day he would slip up, and it happened. 

This made me laugh, and also reminded me that if I’m ever a teacher, I want to hold myself to the same high standard as my students.

(Source: snickerdoodlecabbagepatch)

(Reblogged from origamipeople)

My iPad is being taken from me. And I know it’s the school’s iPad, but a device is only what you use it for. And I’ve used mine. Many of my classmates have noticed how I pull my iPad out to search for an answer on WolframAlpha, or to quickly reference a Google Doc. I’ve made it useful to me, and therefore I’ve given this piece of technology value. And now that value will be lost forever.

I’m thankful that I have at least some time to get my work off of it before it’s all gone forever. If I had to give it up right now, I’d lose my entire year’s worth of Chemistry notes; all of my designs for the laser cutter; all of my college notes, including my annotated Common App and college touring notes; my stage manager’s copy of Scapin; Team 1700’s CalGames scouting; and countless funny notes from my friends hidden in my documents.

There are a few apps I’ve never touched; among them are Messages, Music, and the Dictionary. But I’ll always remember searching for cities in Italy to better understand the plot of one of Hemingway’s short stories in English; using SpanishDict and other translation apps to help my classmates in Spanish; never using my heavy Calc textbook because it’s in iBooks and finding everything from derivatives to flower-like polar curves using WolframAlpha in Math; taking all of my notes, learning about the structure of hydrocarbons, and visualizing the electron cloud and vibrations of ethanol in AT Chem; reading my CS textbook entirely on my iPad, often late at night; taking notes on a seminar in APUSH; and even pulling up an open-source copy of Merchant of Venice for Stage & Page when I forgot my book.

All of the aforementioned activities would have been much more difficult (and against the rules) if they were off my phone and much more distracting if they were off my computer. Tablets, man. It’s the way of the future.