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June 12, 2014 — Powell’s Moriah Miller is one of two female Wyoming high school students who were named winners of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing.
The Wyoming Affiliate Competition winners were recognized during a luncheon at the University of Wyoming’s Women in Science Conference last month.
UW and Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC), affiliates of the NCWIT awards, selected two 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.
“Winning the NCWIT Computing Award showed me that I am heading in the right direction toward my future and made me proud to go into the computing field,” says Miller, who just finished her junior year at Powell High School. “This award has solidified my love for technology and given me confidence in my work.”
To help her improve her artistic skills, Miller took her first technology course, Industrial Technology, in the eighth grade. The course laid the foundation for her interest in technology and allowed her to close the gap between the creative images in her head and the stick figures she says ended up on paper.
She decided to focus on web design and won the poster design contest at her school’s first “Robo Rumble.” In addition, Miller has created a website used by the Panther Robotics Team; taken computer science courses at Northwest College; is creating a website for a man opening the WYOld West Beer Brewing Company; and has written a software program for Marathon Oil, which allows the company to calculate its sulfur gauge readings.
The other Wyoming Affiliate Competition winner is Taylor Joan Mehle of Rock Springs High School.
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. Microsoft and Motorola Solutions Foundation were other award sponsors.
The awards for each winner include a trophy, swag bag, flash drive and a gift card, according to Carla Hester-Croff, associate professor of information technology at WWCC.
“Encouraging young women’s interest in technology careers is critical: Our workforce needs their creativity and their innovation,” says Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of NCWIT.
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
Moriah Miller, a junior at Powell High School, is one of two recipients from Wyoming to receive the NCWIT Computing Award.