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June 21, 2009

The Ripple Effect AKA Women In Technology

Here’s what I’ve been doing this Father’s Day weekend…

Mindstorms NXT enters the Funlab AKA the kitchen table. Robotics FTW!

Apple of My Eye and Cute as a Button and I spent most of yesterday working in our brand-new Mindstorms NXT laboratory building, programming and testing robots. So far we’ve built the TriBot, Alpha Rex, and Spike AKA The Scorpion. Both of them dig getting the robots to do their bidding, altho CaaB’s reactions have been roughly akin to that of a diabolical robot horde overlord.

Where did this come from? Really from four things…

  • An Open Space session on Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio at MVP Summit 2008
  • The Women in Tech session and distributable kit at MVP Summit 2009
  • The heartbreaking statistics about high school age females and technology in one of the presentations being delivered during the Get On The Bus Tour in May
  • The Women Build event at Tech-Ed 2009

As soon as Ginger and I got home from Tech-Ed last month, the first thing AoME and CaaB did was tear into the Women Build LEGO kits. No, I didn’t roll into the whole “how does this make you feel?” thing from the WB event with them. Only closed-off grownups need that kind of prodding.

But given the tabula rasa nature of those WB kits, it was interesting to see how what each of them chose to build reflected what Ginger and I see as their differing personalities. So I showed them the Mindstorms set online, and that was that.

We’ve been using the LEGO Digital Designer application, which includes support for the Mindstorms NXT set, to design models off-brick…so to speak. And the programming environment is simple enough for them to pick up immediately.

Both of them are already stoked to take their own robots to school to show their class after the summer’s over.

So yeah…that’s how I figure we’ll get more women in technology. One summer at a time.

|| posted by chris under business, game, hardware, it pro, robot, tech hand, time || comments (2) || ||


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    pingback by Welcome to the Funcave » The Ripple Effect AKA Women In Technology | — June 22, 2009 @ 8:12 am

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    pingback by The Ripple Effect AKA Women In Technology | Born to Learn — August 26, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

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