Today is Ada Lovelace Day - a celebration of the first-ever programmer and sort of an awareness-raising about the women working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math today. Awareness? Well, Professor PZ Myers notes that:
""It is also my custom every year to have one [final exam question] be, "Name a scientist, any scientist, who also happens to be a woman"...Adafruit Industries, an open hardware company founded by Limor Fried, has been posting profiles of accomplished scientists and educators all day today! Check it out!
About 10% of the class leave it blank... Over half the time, I get the same mysterious answer: Marie Curie. We do not talk about Marie Curie in this class at all, and it's always a bit strange that they have to cast their minds back over a century to come up with a woman scientist."" Source
Image from RobotGrrl's blog.
When I picture a world of tomorrow, I see it brimming with machines and we can't even imagine their workings. Sure, you will have an App Store to customize your devices. But only our best scientists and engineers will be able to start new companies and drive technology forward. We can't afford to have any group of people underrepresented in that future, not because of where they are from, who their parents are, or anything that appeared on their birth certificate on Day Zero. Economics isn't supply and demand, it's about necessity, inspiration, and ability. I think that's in the spirit of OLPC. We do our best to support kids' abilities and find the right person to inspire them.
Given what I've said above, when we introduce the OLPC sensors and gadgets and set up a mini-lab for the students, you can bet one of the laptops will be playing an episode of Sylvia's Super Awesome Mini-Maker Show. It's great for any science event!