On Saturday, October 15, Cenia monitors provided support during a day of programming workshops for children and young people, held as part of the closing of a week full of activities: Ada Lovelace Week.
Every year, the second Tuesday of October is dedicated to the celebration of Ada Lovelace International Day, in honor of the mathematician remembered for helping to lay the foundations of programming in the 19th century. In Chile there are many organizations in charge of promoting STEM education for women, and Niñas Pro is one of them. This association, which started in 2016 as a group of female engineering students and has formalized over time, dedicates a whole week to commemorate Ada Lovelace Day. During the week, various activities are carried out that seek to make women in STEM visible in order to create Role Models that motivate other women and girls to pursue careers linked to the area. In addition, together with other organizations that pursue similar objectives, free workshops are held for girls, boys and young people, which seek to introduce them as creators to the world of technology.
As part of this celebration, a day of programming workshops was held for women between 14 and 18 years of age, including a workshop for attendees to learn how to use the Python tool “Turtle,” which simulates a canvas for drawing; a theoretical and practical workshop on arduino and an introductory workshop on Python to show basic programming skills.
“This first event is part of Cenia’s strategy to promote female vocations associated with Artificial Intelligence. We want our students and researchers to approach girls and adolescents so that they see AI as a possible dream. We hope to continue creating links with other institutions to move towards gender equity in this discipline,” says Rodrigo Durán, Director of Outreach of the National Center for Artificial Intelligence.
On the other hand, David Diaz, Industrial Engineer in Computer Science, who participated as a monitor for the Turtle and arduino workshop, highlighted how useful the event was for the participants, since it provided the opportunity to experiment quickly and learn in a more entertaining way: “I think it is very important the work that the association is doing to generate a continuity in the teaching opportunities that they can have, since it complements their school education and can be the first step to find a place in the STEM area. On the other hand, for me it was very enriching to be able to help and motivate curiosity and interest to continue linked to programming. I think there is a need for more women in technology and these workshops are a great contribution in that direction.”
From Cenia participated as monitors Andrea Freire (Cenia PhD student), Catalina Murúa (Cenia Master’s student), Cristian Buc (Cenia researcher), Cristián Irribarra (Cenia developer), David Díaz (UC Industrial Engineer in Computer Science) and the undergraduate students of the UC School of Engineering Alonso Rivera, Bstián García, Francisco Pinto, Geraldine Coli, Josefa Fernández, María José Ortega and Valeria Salas.