Excellent Posters from Ada Lovelace Day

The Ada Lovelace Day website has some excellent posters for educating yourself and for educating students. The one that caught my eye first is the “Amazingly Enormous Careers in STEM Poster.”

Others include “Ten Types of Scientist poster,” “Ada Lovelace poster,” and “Mary Anning poster.”

You can download the posters from the Ada Lovelace Day website or buy them already printed out and ready to be put on display. Here’s the Careers in STEM one, not very readable at this size, but enough to give you an idea what you’d get if you bought the poster.

 

Ultimate Mentor Adventure for Girls in STEM

[Reprinted from Old Ain't Dead.]

Marvel is doing something marvelous for girls who are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) around the release of Thor: The Dark World. The program is called Ultimate Mentor Adventure. Here’s how it works.

Ultimate Mentor Adventure promo

Natalie Portman in the Ultimate Mentor Adventure promo

Natalie Portman, who plays Jane Foster, an astrophysicist, in Thor: The Dark World describes the program in a video you can see here.

  • Girls from the U.S. in grades 9 – 12 can apply. The minimum age is 14.
  • Each girl is connected to a mentor who is working in a field in which the girl is interested.
  • The girl interviews the mentor and makes a video.
  • The videos are entered in the contest.
  • The winner gets to go to the opening of Thor: The Dark World in California and see the video they made shown along with the film. The winner also gets to go behind the scenes at the movie.

A girl really cannot lose by participating in this mentor adventure. Just by participating she gets to meet a woman in a position she wants to know more about. The girls get help finding the mentors and making the videos. Everyone who participates will have a positive experience whether she wins or not.

Kudos to Marvel for this brilliant idea.

 

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

nate silver
Nate Silver from Wikimedia Commons

Nate Silver is a statistician. On election day his blog Five Thirty Eight at The New York Times accounted for 20% of all the traffic at the newspaper. That’s because Nate Silver had been standing up for his statistical analysis of the voting trend numbers and predicting Obama’s win for days before election day.

Keep in mind we’re talking about a mathematician here. But his name was all over Twitter and the news because he knows how to crunch numbers.

So here’s to Nate Silver. May his name become an inspiration to young people who are thinking about a career in some branch of mathematics.

Useful Links: Open source, STEM programs, iPhone unavailable–sometimes

Say Hello to the Open Source Decade by Laura Scott.

Open Source has been around for quite some time, but odds are most people you ask won’t know what “open source” is. This isn’t because open source is obscure, but rather it has slipped into the mainstream, and unless you’re already in the know, there’s no real reason you will have noticed it.

Planting seeds of science interest in kids of all ages is a great list of resources leading to programs of all sorts meant to bring kids into STEM fields.

Live in New York and want an iPhone? Forget about it. AT&T Customer Service: “New York City Is Not Ready For The iPhone”. Apparently AT&T decided the solution to their lack of coverage in the Big Apple was to stop selling Apple phones there. The blackout on iPhone only extends to online sales, according to TechCrunch, where we see Relax, You Can Still Buy an iPhone in New York City. Just Not Online. The end of this story will be to learn what happened to the poor AT&T service rep who pronounced the fateful sentence, “New York City is not ready for the iPhone.”

Canada’s National Day of Remembrance

In Memory – École Polytechnique, Dec. 6, 1989 from Faye Hicks’s Blog talks about this event:

Just after 4 pm on December 6, 1989 a man carrying a semi-automatic rifle entered the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada and shot 28 people.  He killed thirteen…  all women…  most were engineering students.  In the twenty years since, these women have been remembered each December in memorial ceremonies at engineering schools across Canada and around the world.  Probably every Canadian who remembers, or knows about, this event could name the murderer, but sadly few would be able to name even one of his victims.  So I will name them here – but I will not name him.  Never him.

Hicks, a professor of civil engineering,  mentions some changes brought about by this national tragedy, saying,

Did their deaths have meaning ? Of course not.  It was a senseless act of violence against women.  Did it make a difference?  Undoubtedly.  Perhaps not in terms of invoking better gun control laws as many (including me) might have hoped, but in terms of changing the school and working environment for women in engineering – absolutely.  Here are the things that vanished from my work world:

Here’s more on Canada’s National Day of Remembrance at Geek Feminism Blog: Marking the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

In the 20 years since this day, problems still remain. A report from the Canadian Labour Congress says,

For twenty years, women have been waiting for action. Twenty years is too long. On this anniversary of the December 6th murders, Canadians can take action to demand a serious government commitment to ending violence against women.

The Canadian Labour Congress has developed a campaign asking Canadians to send 20 postcard messages to the federal government. The campaign is called “20 Days 20 Ways to End Violence Against Women”.

An article in the Moose Jaw Herald states that the ceremony in Moose Jaw will emphasize action as well.

Karen Closs, executive director of transition house, said this year the ceremony, which is going to be held at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, is going to focus more on the action part of the day, opposed to the remembrance.

In remembrance.

UPDATE: See this article at BlogHer by SassyMonkey, a Canadian blogger: 20 Years after the Montreal Massacre We Still Remember.