Hello dear reader!
Last weekend, I volunteered at UT's Girl Day as part of the Introduce a Girl to Engineering initiative. For my part, I taught girls as young as seven how to design their own mobile apps.
This whole experience really affirmed for me how important it is to start exposing girls to STEM at a young age. In order for people, especially young girls, to believe they can achieve in a field dominated by someone who doesn't look like them, it's crucial for them to have unshakable confidence in themselves. I believe the best way to build that type of confidence is to thoroughly familiarize them with all aspects of that field. Getting hands-on experience and seeing how fun and cool and expressive STEM can be is vital for young girls to not be intimidated by the field and pursue these interests later on.
And I know it's a cliché as old as time itself, but I truly realized how much you learn by teaching others. These kids really amazed me with their curiosity and creativity, and the things they built with the amount of time they had was mind blowing. Almost every time, each one would discover a new way to use something that I had never thought of before, or even find some widget that I had no idea was even available and use it expertly. I watched in wonder as they got so excited at the prospect of making something incredible by themselves. And I realized that I too used to feel that way, but not as much anymore. These girls were so in awe of being able to create whatever their heart desired, of having complete control over their experience—of all the things that I had gotten so used to.
So I'd like to take a leaf out of their book: I want to be amazed by this again, because this is amazing. They things we learn here will surely change the world, and I'm so grateful to be able to say that. Sure, it's easy for the magic to fade when you're slaving over code for hours upon hours, but look for it. It's there. In every keystroke and compile button, the magic is there.