Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ada Lovelace Day - For My Daughters

I'm glad I tidied my feed reader in time to catch the post from Ideologically Impure that alerted me to Ada Lovelace Day from Suw Charman-Anderson who writes on Blogiculum Vitae amongst other places.

So, it's already March 24th and I'm unprepared to blog about women and technology. There are some amazing women, from Hypatia onwards. Choose my tech heroine? I've decided to #ALD09post about... myself.

Yesterday was the first Newtown Kids Science Club day for 2009. We did robotics. Organised by myself. Many parents at the school say to me... "but you're a science teacher... scientist... I couldn't do that!"

No, I'm not and yes I can.

It's time to put aside the barriers. Women in science. Women in sport. Same issue. This is for my daughters. They aren't all sporty. Some like pink. They don't all think that Ripley is a role model like I do. I have 4 children, 1 boy and 3 girls. They are all different.

I've done my share of gender neutral parenting. I'm sick of fixing my children. They are not broke or boys (bar one). It's time to fix their society. Daughter 1 was brought up on Punky Brewster and is now an adult and into burlesque. Daughter 2 was very Barbie, so we got her a pink laptop, a pink screwdriver and sparkly pink soccer balls. She's more like Sailor Moon now. Daughter 3 is a Dora girl, though where is Dora heading now?

I started coaching football (soccer) because I got mad that girls were expected to put up with being the only girl on the team. Never talked to. Never passed the ball. Trial by ordeal. Then IF they played better than the boys... "She's not a bad little player. She fits in well. She's like one of the boys."

No parent of a boy would put up with that! So rather than watch my not so sporty daughters drop out I started coaching. I have sparkly footballs and coach a 50/50 mixed team. No one minds a bit of bling mixed in with their blood sports. Just ask Beckham! Or any other gold boot wearing boy.

I also run the school science club. "But you're a scientist!" No.

I just want my girls to think that science and technology is something they can do, too.

We had a great day programming robots yesterday. My daughters had friends doing the same thing as they were. My son was in a class with girls. Win win situation.
... naturally enough, I'm now looking at the long list of wonderful women being posted about on the Ada Lovelace Day #ALD09 blogroll and "myself" (on page 16) sticks out like dog's balls. That's the point though. Let us all be empowered to be women in technology heroines - for our daughters!


LornaJane said...

I think this is the most inspirational post I've read today. Here's to you and to kids - yours and those others you reach. You rock and I'm so glad you are able to tell us you do!

Andra said...

Thank you. That's a lovely comment and really helps offset all the stupid second thoughts that surface whenever I get outspoken about the personal. Which is always political.