Behind The Screen
AiC Community Member Ayushi Sinha recently organized “Behind the Screen” for local middle school girls. The free event taught attendees how to 3D print using Tinkercad and OpenScad as well as take part in presentations with high school girls and women who work with 3D printing and technology. Ayushi shared her “Behind the Screen” experience with us.
As a way to help bridge the gender gap in technology, I wanted to find a way to share my passion for computer science (CS) with other girls. So, I applied for and received a $1,500 NCWIT AspireIT grant to host a day-long, community-wide CS and 3D printing event for middle school girls at the local library.
I invited an opening speaker, the CEO of a local biomedical startup, to share his experiences using computer science to print 3D organs, as well as a female CEO of a technology company to encourage the girls to be leaders in technology. I also organized a group of volunteers to help teach the girls how a 3D printer works, how to code, and how to create their own 3D printed objects.
In the middle of the sessions, I glanced across the room, which had been divided by soundboards. It was heartwarming to see volunteers sharing their CS skills and passion with the younger girls. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I noticed a participant lean over her computer to help a friend out. Instead of competing against each other, these girls were helping each other. It was empowering to see the event come together after months of planning and to know that I actually changed someone’s life. The participants returned home with an interest in exploring computer science.
When I first became interested in computer science, I saw an apparent need for more support and motivation to get young women interested in STEM, especially in CS. I was lucky to have been exposed to computer science in the 9th grade and in turn, I want to expose as many girls as I can to computer science, like I was.
Looking ahead, I plan to study CS in college and would love to incorporate computer science into a career. Three years ago, I was introduced to an MIT app inventor, and I continue to create applications for my phone. Creating mobile apps is rewarding and empowers me to change the world, one app at a time. As I immerse myself in developing new apps and products, I would also like to turn my ideas into successful and sustainable businesses.
Ayushi Sinha first fell in love with computer science as a 9th grader taking “Intro to Programming.” She has continued her computer science and engineering career by taking AP CS and engineering classes, founding the GPS Computer Science Club as a junior, and interning at the Asymmetric Operations division of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. She is a 2015 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing National Runner-up and a 2014 Tennessee Affiliate Award Winner.
For more information on “Behind The Screen” visit http://behindthescreen3dprinting.weebly.com.