Math & Cryptography.

In this session, Beth Hegland, Principal Decision Scientist at Guild Education and marvelous GSTEM volunteer, talked about her background in Mathematics, including her education and career experience. She highlighted that Math is a very versatile degree, and that there are opportunities to apply this across countless fields/industries.

The girls learned about Cryptography, and used an Affine Cipher to encrypt a message, which they swapped with someone else to decrypt. To do this, letters were translated into numbers, and a function applied to these to return an "encrypted" value.

Beth gave an example of the Affine Cipher which was used by Julius Caesar, and encouraged the girls to get creative to come up with their own cipher. They even learned about modular arithmetic, and used this to make sure the values their functions returned were always between 0 and 25!

To Engineer or not to... Yes to Engineer!

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Recently, the young women at DSST College View High School welcomed Alejandra Spray, a civil engineer who spoke about her professional experience and her job in construction, working primarily in marketing and business development. She told us about the opposition she faced from her family (despite her father being an engineer himself!) when she decided she wanted to pursue engineering as a student in Mexico, and how she overcame this and went on to earn her degree in Civil Engineering.

We talked about all of the various types of engineering, and that it's possible to pursue a general engineering major initially in college, before deciding on a path to take toward a specialized area. We also discussed how a degree in engineering teaches problem-solving skills that can be applied across various areas. Ale also emphasized the importance of having women in engineering roles, and about the unique skills and perspectives they bring to the table.

The girls were very engaged with Ale, and had lots of questions, so much that there was no time for the planned activity!

Polar bears, toys, chemistry, oil & gas... Find out how these things are related.

During this fascinating session, Courtney Gallo, an engineer at Conoco Phillips (the multinational energy corporation) spoke about the path she took to become an engineer in oil and gas, including her interest in Chemistry starting in high school, which led her to study chemical engineering in college. She spoke about her experiences at Colorado School of Mines, and the various internships she's held which helped her to gain valuable experience. She also stressed that a degree in engineering teaches you how to think and solve problems, and can be applied across various areas and disciplines.

The fun continued when Courtney had the girls guess which household items, toys, and knick-knacks were byproducts of oil and gas. The girls were surprised to learn that ALL of the items contained some form of petroleum!

To close the session, Courtney shared some valuable tips to make the most of the college experience such as getting involved in sports and other activities. The involvement in sports (basketball) and clubs helped her learn to build relationships and improved her communication skills. She also shared various photos of her journey, including some taken during internships in Norway and Northern Alaska (including a polar bear!). Seriously, who would’ve thought?

TECHNOLOchicas, AiC, NCWIT in the house!

Jannie Fernandez, NCWIT K-12 Alliance & TECHNOLOchicas Director (third, left to right), with the members of our DSST College View High School Chapter.

Jannie Fernandez, NCWIT K-12 Alliance & TECHNOLOchicas Director (third, left to right), with the members of our DSST College View High School Chapter.

The girls at College View HS were completely engaged in this session led by Jannie Fernandez, NCWIT Director K-12 Alliance and TECHNOLOchicas, who spoke about NCWIT (National Center for Women and Information Technology), and the various opportunities available to girls interested in technology, such as TECHNOLOchicas, a national initiative of NCWIT and Televisa Foundation designed to raise awareness among young Latinas and their families about opportunities and careers in technology, and the Aspirations in Computing award for High School students and Educators interested in computer science. Applications open in September.

To finish the session, Jannie encouraged all girls to submit an application for the Aspiration awards, and gave some tips on how to make their application stand out:

  • Toot your horn! Highlight your accomplishments both in and out of academics

  • Talk about what you're most passionate about

  • Celebrate the things you're proud of

Media Design

In January, Rocío Almanza Guilllén joined us to talk about her experiences in Media Design. She told us about her background and education, as well as what types of projects she's been able to have lots of fun while working on as a children’s media design specialist Rocio guided the group to make a GIF, and explained that this is really just a series of stills, which tricks the eye into seeing the GIF as an animation.

 

Activity Instructions:

  1. Sign up at canva.com using your school Google account. You can ignore all the bluish-purple pages that appear after you first sign up. Go to Create a Design and then click on Social Media. Choose any free template.

  2. Customize the text and background area. Just click in the boxes to activate the different options to make changes. You can choose different fonts, sizes, background color, etc.

  3. Create different versions of your design. Once you’re happy with your design, click on the icon that has two squares on (right side corner of the image). A copy of your image will appear below. Change the color of the background. Repeat this step as many times as you want, changing the color of the background.

  4. Download the file. Click the button on the right upper corner of the work space that says Download. A .zip file will be downloaded to your computer. Double click on it to extract the files.

  5. Time for magic! Use Giphy or a Chrome Extension such as Make a GIF. Upload all your images, choose the speed. Usually one image per second, but you can experiment. Click finish and voilá, your GIF is ready! You can experiment by modifying font size or color or any element of your series of images using Canva.

    *If you want to learn more about graphic design, click here to open the Beginner's Challenge, as suggested by another speaker. This will show you how to use Canva’s tools and features.

 

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