Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an opportunity to celebrate pioneering women in science, technology, engineering and math. The English mathematician worked with Charles Babbage to write the first computer program, before women in her country even had the right to vote.
Journalist Suw Charman-Anderson founded Ada Lovelace day “to increase the profile of women in STEM … and create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.”
Below, five outstanding talks from women in STEM:
As their final project for a summer Girls Who Code workshop, high school students Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser created Tampon Run, an 8-bit computer game designed to fight the stigma against menstruation. In an eloquent and engaging talk, Gonzales what happened after she and Houser created the game and shares important insight into how women and girls are represented in video games, STEM and as creators of technology.
Claire Lee is a particle physicist working on the ATLAS experiment at CERN. At TEDxKlagenfurt, she explains how scientists research the building blocks of our universe, and the ways in which they interact. She believes that particle physics — and science in general — should be fun and exciting for us all.
Cecilia Rodriguez Alcala runs Paraguay Educa, an NGO that provides tech education to children in Paraguay. Alcala worked with the One Laptop per Child program to provide computers to 10,000 children in Paraguay, focusing on the city of Caacupé, where three-fifths of the children are street workers and 60% of children have at least one parent living abroad. At TEDxIEMadrid, Alcala explains how technology empowers students in Paraguay to shape their own education and get involved in programming, coding and more.
At TEDxLabone, Regina Agyare shares how assumptions about what women should or should not do is dangerous — and how she fought against expectations that women couldn’t succeed in technology. Agyare left a job in banking to create an organization that uses STEM to make changes in her community, from teaching girls to code to developing tech to make Ghana more accessible for to Deaf and hard of hearing.
Linda Liukas created a storybook, Hello Ruby, featuring a female protagonist to teach kids how to code. At TEDxCERN, she invites us to imagine a world where the Ada Lovelaces of tomorrow grow up to be optimistic and brave about technology and use it to create a new world that is wonderful, whimsical and a tiny bit weird.