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May 7, 2013 — Laramie’s Lia Eggleston is one of five female Wyoming high school students who have been named winners of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing.
UW and Western Wyoming Community College, affiliates of the NCWIT awards, selected five winners from across Wyoming. Winners were chosen based on their computing-related achievements and interests, solid leadership ability, good academic history and plans for post-secondary education.
“This award is important to me because it represents the beginning of a journey,” says Eggleston, a freshman who is home-schooled by her parents in Laramie. “I am not super experienced in computing and programming yet, but my dreams and aspirations are big. I am very interested in a career in computing, and I want to explore subjects in arts and mathematics related to programming.”
Eggleston, who is currently in India with her parents who are on sabbatical, was first introduced to programming 1.5 years ago, when she took a CS-101 online course offered by Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the world’s top universities to offer courses online that are free to anyone. She took another Coursera course, Interactive Programming in Python. Eggleston used that program to build basic games, graphics and other programs. She plans to take AP Calculus next year.
NCWIT is a nonprofit community of more than 300 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies and nonprofits that work to increase women’s participation in technology and computing.
“Encouraging young women’s interest in technology careers is critical,” says Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of NCWIT.
Other Wyoming Affiliate Competition winners, listed with their high schools and hometowns, are:
--Rylee Marron, Cody High School, Cody.
--Jingyu Li, Laramie High School, Laramie.
--Blake Marquardt, East High School, Cheyenne.
--Korina Ike, Hulett High School, Hulett.
The awards for each winner include a trophy, swag bag and a 64 gigabyte USB flash drive pre-loaded with a software development environment, according to Allyson Anderson, a senior lecturer in UW’s Computer Science Department.
The Women in Science Conference is designed to raise young women’s (grades 7-12) interest and excitement in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) -- career fields typically dominated by men. Accomplished professional women discuss their experiences in these fields.
The conference is hosted by the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, which sponsors education and research programs in the state of Wyoming to support NASA goals. One of the goals of NASA and UW is to get more women and ethnic minorities involved in educational programs.
For more information about the Women in Science Conference, contact Michele Turner, program coordinator, Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, at (307) 766-2862 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lia Eggleston, a home-schooled freshman from Laramie, is one of five recipients from Wyoming to receive the NWCIT Computing Award.