Digital Technology students at York College celebrated Ada Lovelace Day, marking the achievements of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The aim of the day was to encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working within the sectors by way of a poster competition.
A STEM poster competition, sponsored and judged by SBL challenged students to design a A3 poster depicting important women in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Joint prize winners, Connor Gurney and Calvin McShane, were inspired by two very different inspirational women;
Level-2 Information & Creative Technology student, Connor Gurney created a poster about Reshma Saujani who is an American lawyer, politician and founder of the tech organization Girls Who Code; a non-profit organization aiming to support and increase the number of women in computer science. Girls Who Code run summer programs teaching computing and programming skills to high school girls in the USA.
Calvin McShane, who studies the Foundation Degree in Computer Systems Design and Solutions at York College, created a poster about Ada Lovelace herself. While exploring the history of computing as part of an introduction to the course, Calvin was inspired by Ada’s story and how she came to understand Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical computer better, perhaps, than Babbage himself.
Scott Cattaneo, Commercial Manager at SBL, presented each student with a £50 voucher. He commented their winning posters were ‘well researched and interesting.’
Former York College student Ginta Chukwu is an advocate for STEM subjects. Having graduated with a Foundation Degree in Applied Computing from York College in 2016 and topping up her degree at Sheffield Hallam University, she comments: “I have usable, necessary and a wide-ranging knowledge in computing which has allowed me to discover prospects for further education or a career in the industry. The subject has taught me about professionalism, team work, time management and problem solving, and now I have good connections with professionals working in the industry. Most importantly the subject has enabled me to develop as a person and gain in confidence. I would advise other female students to be brave and believe in themselves - studying a STEM subject can bring great results and opportunities your way.”
Digital Technologies tutor, Richard Hind is keen to shout about the fantastic careers in STEM sectors: “It’s over 100 years since Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer programs for Babbage’s proposed mechanical computer and yet a British Computer Society survey has revealed that only 20% of the UK’s IT workforce are women. There are huge opportunities for current technology, which is being driven by creativity and imagination and it seems to be the boys keeping all the fun for themselves!”