# K
-12 Outreach

Elaine Rich

#### Expanding Your Horizons

In the early 1990's a small group of us formed
a local nonprofit corporation, Tomorrow's Women in Science and Technology
(TWIST). TWIST's goal was to encourage girls and
women to continue their education in math and science and to consider
scientific and technical careers. TWIST's main activity
was to organize Expanding Your
Horizons workshops for middle school aged girls to try to keep them
interested in math and science. We chose to target this age group because a
large body of research shows that just at the start of adolescence, girls, for
some reason, start tuning out tomath and science. EYH
conferences bring the girls together for a day of fun, hands-on workshops that
give them glimpses of all kinds of careers that rely on good backgrounds in
science and math. In 2006, a wonderful Austin
nonprofit organization, Girlstart,
took over responsibility for the Austin EYH program, which continues under
their leadership and with sponsorship by the University of
Texas College of Natural Sciences.

#### Presentations to Student Groups

I’ve prepared several presentations that are
suitable for students of various ages. You
are welcome to use any of this material in any way you like.

·
**Easy, Hard and Impossible**: I’ve used a version of this presentation recently
for a class in the UT CS department’s Breakfast
Bytes program (for mostly middle school students) and our First Bytes summer camp
program for high school girls. The point
of this presentation is that some problems are inherently easy, while others
appear to be inherently hard. Yet others
are provably impossible. Sometimes, it
is obvious that a problem is easy. But
there are other problems that are in fact much easier than they first
appear. So it makes sense to analyze
problems before we rush out to write code to solve them. There is more than enough material here for a
couple of hours, including some hands-on activities for the students to do.

·
The Powerpoint
slides

·
A table of binary numbers to be used in
talking about Nim

·
A tiling example