Paying it forward : cujoJS & Intel

We love STEMinists, especially male allies, who get it and who understand the importance of supporting women and girls in science, tech and engineering. We have been lucky to have quite a few of them in our circles.

A long overdue shoutout to two of these awesome allies: John Hann (@unscriptable) and Brian Cavalier (@briancavalier), co-founders of the open source project cujoJS, “a JavaScript Architectural Toolkit for the web that is open, light, flexible”. (We will have to have one of our girls to explain that to us…)

John and Brian had been working on an HTML5/mobile hybrid application supported by Intel when they heard about the Laptop Challenge initiated by Bocoup (another big proponent of HTML5) on behalf of Science Club for Girls, to support the Coup de Code game development and other technology programs.

John personally contributed to the Challenge AND, he and Brian convinced Intel to contribute 9 brand new laptops to us, to bolster our new technology programs, and to replace a few of our older machines. The potential impact is huge. Read on to find out.

Here’s John delivering the Intel Ultrabooks to us! Our executive director Connie Chow (l) and our teen program director Maura Hackett (r) cannot be more thrilled!

Hann-Intel-12-13

These machines can indeed change lives. We began working with a group of 15 girls in Boston last spring. None of them have experience with computer science and technology in an educational setting. Certainly none of them had any exposure to these careers. All of them had used a smartphone, but only a few own one. The primary use for their smartphone was for text messaging and social media. None of them had access to computers or other mobile technologies regularly outside of school. Sadly, even though most of the students were in high school they had very little experience with the internet and web browsers.

However, towards the end of the program, two of the most high pitched exclamations you would hear from this group are, “I made that!” or “It’s working”! For girls who have never programmed, including and a few who hardly knew how to turn on a computer, for those who have little experience with an engineering project, the phrase “This is easy,” came only after hours or weeks of hard work, and often frustration, made tolerable by patient mentors and supportive peers. And we could not have done it without support from people and institutions like John and Brian, and Intel.

Thank you SO MUCH. Your contribution will make a big difference in even more girls’ lives and we hope they’ll start a company just like you!

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