Five Upper School students were recently recognized by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) for their computing-related achievements and interests! Ellie D., 2022 was named the Maryland Affiliate Winner of the Aspirations in Computing Award and Charlotte C., 2022, Suzannah F., 2023, Katherine G., 2033, and Bella H., 2021 each won a Maryland Affiliate Honorable Mention in the same category. A virtual awards ceremony will be held in May, hosted by the University of Maryland.
“This is a wonderful recognition for these students who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to technology,” said Dr. Neda Blackburn, Director of STEM Institute. “These students don’t only take multiple computer science courses, but they participate and pursue technology-focused internships, are the leaders in multiple after-school groups, and constantly push the envelope in what we do in the Innovation Labs and classrooms.”
The students all wrote essays describing their experiences with technology, as well as their aspirations. Ellie said her AP Computer Science teacher Mr. McDonald really encouraged her to work in computer science, and honed her interest in the field. She is the vice president of the student-run CyberPatriot team, which participates in the cyber security contest created by the United States Air Force. Along with Charlotte, president of the CyberPatriot team, they lead their team in a competition to solve problems in digital forensics and fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities in a secure virtual environment. Out of school, Ellie interned at a local IT company where she coded, developed an app, and provided database management.
Charlotte wants to combine her love for robotics and computer science into a career in government cybersecurity. As the founder of the CyberPatriot team at RPCS, Charlotte has taken STEM electives since the 8th grade, Charlotte also held an internship in Washington, D.C. at the National Youth Leadership Forum for National Security and Diplomacy. After she graduates college, Charlotte wants to pursue a career in government with a tech concentration.
Bella’s interest in computer science and technology has a distinctive focus, as she is passionate about taking what she has learned in her AP Computer Science and technology courses into bettering minority communities in this country and around the world. In the essay she wrote to the NCWIT, she answered the prompt “explore a problem you would want to fix in technology” by addressing the underutilized combination of computer science with social justice to create a secure and safe program that could share the voice of minority communities in a safe and more visible platform.
Suzannah’s interest in computer science is a family-born trait! While watching her brother participate in the Boys’ Latin robotics team, her interest in technology was peaked. After joining STEM in 8th grade, she lobbied for funding from the RPCS Upper School to make their own robotics team. Her goal is to combine aspects of neuroscience and robotic engineering to design improved surgical instruments.
Congratulations again to these five students on earning recognition for their technology focused work over their middle school and high school careers. We know you will succeed in whatever passions you pursue!