Gamer Girls

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sarah Lippman and Julia Weingaertner, 8th grade students at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart and designers of the "Animal Inequalities" computer game, and Alicia Testa, a technology integrator and computer and math teacher at the school, talk about the class project that got middle school girls thinking about computer programming and won awards at the National STEM Video Game Challenge.


Sarah Lippman, Alicia Testa and Julia Weingaertner

Comments [16]

Daniel from 07009

This is exciting and exhilirating. God Bless them.

Jun. 27 2012 09:38 AM
MC from Queens

TO CK from YKT
you write

"I find that women are more collaborative and my male colleagues tend to wade in with their opinion, assume it's right and drive the conversation."

I find, and so do just about every male (and even female) colleague that I know.. in my experience in this culture that women do EXACTLY what you ascribe to men. Not only that, but increasingly in our culture, women are violent (resort to physical and verbal aggression/action) and are more prone to insisting that they are right and cannot even be questioned. Mature men are much easier to get along with and aside from some men ho have troubled personalities are much less likely to be confrontational because Men know that aggressive confrontation could lead to forms of physical violence that women do not tend to shy away from ... but normal men do.
Now I being as sexist as the women I have run into to make these comments?
Or do I have to suffer thru a sexist feminist analysis of male behavior with it's often smug superiority spin?
I am all for any methods that will encourage children regardless of sex to be all that they can be and want to be. Choices and interests should be equally encouraged and equally presented. Not to do so is to waste human potential . The next great genius could be male or female and to deny those geniuses regardless of sex or what ever discriminatory reasoning or attitudes short changes all of us. However, I am tired of all this knee jerk and creepy male bashing that has become an acceptable norm in this culture.

Jun. 26 2012 04:31 PM
John A

Google technology "raised by wolves" -> 129 thousand results.
Technology does need more nurturing types.

Jun. 26 2012 12:11 PM
CK from YKT

MC: she's not saying that boys are facists but you can see that boys and girls work differently. Of course that's not true of all boys or all girls but even as an adult, I find that women are more collaborative and my male colleagues tend to wade in with their opinion, assume it's right and drive the conversation. Just differences in the sexes. I think that's why some all-girl things (like this school or Scouts) can't hurt.

Lighten up: no one said "boys are bad."

Jun. 26 2012 12:02 PM
Ellen from Brooklyn

I'm annoyed by the direction this has taken, as if all girls have a certain view point and all boys have a certain view point. I agree that thinking outside the box and broadening the idea of what a game is can make it appeal to a larger group of people, but it's not just that GIRLS want to play nature games and BOYS want to fight. I think that's unnecessarily forcing people into gender roles. I'm sure there are a lot of boys that would play a nature game too. We should let people explore science without forcing them into gender specific roles.

Congrats to Sarah & Julia

Jun. 26 2012 12:01 PM
John A.

Please don't confuse techism with sexism. What does that mean? In tech societies what I Have seen is a bias to those who have done their homework and are on top of knowledge. Tech societies could stand to be more "nurturant". That can be done for anyone girls,boys,adults.

Jun. 26 2012 12:01 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Congratulations to the girls and their teacher. It goes to show what $30K a year can get you...

I would love to hear about any public school they exist?

Jun. 26 2012 11:58 AM

I am a female college student studying computer science. In my experience, women are highly unrepresented in the field, and are made to feel unwelcome (unintentionally) at conventions and events. Girls are also often less prepared for the subject matter and drop out of the major early, unlike boys they are not encourage to be tech oriented nerdy kids.

Jun. 26 2012 11:57 AM
John A.

"Tech classes are typically overwhelmingly biased toward boys"
I have been seeing gender-neutral robotics competitions for over a decade. My (tech) college has been 50%|50% or better for about that time as well.

Jun. 26 2012 11:57 AM
Leslie Mills

I'd like to give a shout out to the Girl Scouts as well for encouraging girls in science. My daughter participated in the Sally Ride Science Contest through the Girl Scouts and twice made it to the finals. She also extracted DNA from strawberries at Liberty Science Center and went on a Girl Scout Destination where she studied the impact of invasive species in Lake Michigan! She has now graduated and will be pursuing a science career at WPI.

Jun. 26 2012 11:55 AM
MC from Queens

"Girls tend to want to talk things over sort of like a democracy instead of one person dominating and controlling"
to paraphrase

SO what is they woman trying to say ? That boys are fascist dictators that sully the pure motivations of girls?

THis is utter sexist crap and she should be called on it

Jun. 26 2012 11:53 AM
CK from YKT

I think the issue is making technology interesting for all of our kids. The topics for STEM can be interesting: this teacher used Scratch (cool program by the way) to make it fun. Most teachers don't seem to have a grasp on the topic or ways to make it interesting and applied OR are stuck coaching for the state tests so miss the good parts.

Bravo to these girls and their teacher.

Jun. 26 2012 11:52 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I forgot to mention musicians in my previous post.

Jun. 26 2012 11:52 AM
Nick from UWS

Yeah...that's just what we need Brian...making smart creative children suddenly self-conscious that they might be "science nerds".

Jun. 26 2012 11:51 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Video games will be, and actually already are doing to movies in this 21st century what movies did to reading big novels in the 20th century. Video games will not replace movies, but will nonetheless become the major entertainment medium of this century compared to reading or watching films.

Creation of video games requires the training and employment of game designers, artists, programmmers, mathematicians, writers, voice actors, producers and directors, many of whom are being taken from the movie industry right now. So raising a generation to work in the burgeoning video game industry is the "big thing" of the near future.

Jun. 26 2012 11:51 AM
Hell's Kitchen from Manhattan

"How do you make technology classes more gender-neutral?"
Gender neutral? As in, removing bias against *both* genders? Really? If you can find a tech class that somehow discriminates against boys, I would be astounded. The question really is: "How do you make sure girls get the same amount of encouragement and support to pursue science and tech careers that boys do, from the same age?"

Answer: You throw out your television and avoid the "girls'" aisle of toy stores. Tech classes are (at least in the U.S.) typically overwhelmingly biased toward boys. Maybe in 2030, we'll be asking how to make these classes "gender neutral"--until then, let's call a spade a spade and admit that girls are still marginalized when it comes to tech education unless their parents have the resources and time to counteract that.

Jun. 26 2012 11:28 AM

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