Eight Tappan Zee High School computer science students logged on for the virtual New York City Girls Computer Science and Engineering Conference last Friday, an annual event co-hosted by New York University Women in Computing (WinC), Princeton University’s Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWiSE) and Google for young women.
Each year, conference programming aims to inspire high school students to consider careers in science and engineering. The event featured talks by professors, undergraduate and graduate students, demonstrations of ongoing research projects at NYU and Princeton and a hands-on engineering design challenge. Participants learned about prerequisites for careers in computer science and engineering and what to expect as an undergraduate majoring in these areas.
“In past years, we attended in person and were excited to hear that the conference would be held this year, albeit virtually,” said TZHS math and computer science teacher Barbara Murphy. “It exposes girls to the many different fields where computer science and engineering degrees can take them. And seeing 170 other participants on screen shows them that there are other girls interested, too.”
Junior Kellie Linehan has already taken several computer science courses and is looking forward to taking AP Computer Science A (Java) next year. “Computer science interests me because you get to be super creative and make unique programs,” Linehan noted. “The conference was super informative. I learned a lot from all of the successful women who ran it and it was inspiring to hear their stories and get advice.”
TZHS offers six Computer Science classes, including two Advanced Placement courses; Project Lead the Way engineering electives begin in middle school. Students interested in computer science and engineering may also participate in extracurriculars which include SO BOTZ (FIRST Robotics Competition team), Computer Science Club, Computer Science Honor Society and Science Olympiad.