On a recent Sunday, a group of 20 young women from Dr. Shani Peretz's Females in STEM program met to learn computer programming from Math Teacher Mark Sawula, with assistance from Math Department Chair Tim Corica and students Jiehan Zheng '14 and Brabeeba Wang '14.
From STEM participant Caroline '15: 'I love science and am really glad that Dr. Peretz has been helping organize these events aimed at getting girls more comfortable and involved in science. I am a member of the STEM group and the point of this group is to organize events in order help get girls get more interested and involved in science. Sunday was the first event of the year and we learned some basic coding in a relaxed atmosphere. It was great to be with other girls who share the same love for science. I know I want to continue with science in college and past college and these events help me understand more about the different fields of science. The STEM group as well as this initiative to get girls more involved in science really speaks to how the Peddie faculty and students are working together to bring the real world and real issues closer to the Peddie community.
From Mr. Sawula: We started the morning by discussing women coders such as Hilary Mason of bitly, Amanda Cox of the New York Times, Kim Swift of Portal , and Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang of Continuum Fashion. We also discussed how creative, social, and fun coding can be now,by listening to a talk by Aaron Koblin of the Google Data Arts team about The Johnny Cash project. We looked at work of previous Peddie students, including Santo Chen '12 of UCLA's Digital Media Arts Program. We then coded creatively and collaboratively for two hours using the language Processing. The participants reported that it was more fun than they had ever imagined and are eager for the next meeting.