Where to find summer coding camps for Teens

compass college advisory

I am particularly concerned about girls in STEM. Over the years, there’s been a significant drop in females graduates in computer science for example. According to the girlswhocode.com website, women represent only 12% of computer science graduates versus 37% in 1984. What happened??

For me personally, I started out in the STEM area as a college freshman. The large, lecture-style STEM freshman year courses were clearly designed to weed out the ill-prepared students. My high school AP Physics course did not prepare me for the rigors of introductory physics at Stanford. Even with a “curve”, my test grades in this course discouraged me from continuing in the department.

In my consulting practice, I have had several female clients who are excited about the STEM areas earlier in high school. As the senior year draws near, however, their interest wanes. One of the ways that I try to keep their interests high or sometimes pique their interest is to introduce STEM summer camps.

Here is a list of camps that offers a great starting point for finding camps for all teens, especially girls: Summer Coding Camps for Kids – CodeHS Blog.

My hope is that the summer camps will stimulate their creativity and show them practical applications for STEM.

Another telling statistic today is that only .4% of female freshmen plan to major in computer science, whereas 74% of middle-school girls are interested in STEM. What’s happening in middle and high school for these girls??

Why choose a women’s college – Leadership and diversity

Smith College

My dear friend from high school attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She has always spoken very highly of her college experience and its life-changing affect. In my visits to Smith over the years, I have come to realize as well that it is indeed a special place for many reasons.

Occasionally, I have talked with a female college-bound student about the benefits of a women’s college. A women’s college isn’t a fit for every female student. However, unfortunately, it can be a great fit for more female students than those who seriously consider what those campuses have to offer. The first response is “I won’t see any guys.” My myth-busting response is “Really? On the upper west side of NYC, next to Columbia University. . . no guys?” 🙂

If you are at least open to considering why women’s colleges are appealing for many young women each year, check out this interview with Barnard’s President, Debra Spar:

Q.What does the Barnard experience offer for women? To what extent is the experience of attending Barnard different for women when compared with other American colleges?

A.It’s both very different and not very different at all. You walk across Barnard and it feels like walking across Harvard, or Northwestern, or University of Chicago. It’s a big urban campus, very diverse, with men and women. They would look to be in equal proportions. But when you look more closely, what the Barnard students experience is really the best of both worlds. They get the big diverse co-ed environment when they want it but in terms of both their classes, and more importantly their extra-curricular activities, girls are the majority.Just by definition, the president of the student body is female. The leaders of all of the clubs are female. The young women really get an opportunity to be in a female environment and to develop intellectually, personally and academically, without always being conscious of being the woman in the room.The sense you get, even in the best universities in the U.S. is that women, even subconsciously, oftentimes feel that when they put their hand up they are giving the women’s point of view. You feel that you are somehow responsible for presenting a position, and that’s a burden. Whereas if you are in a Barnard class, you put your hand up and you are just being Deborah or Joanne, and I think that frees students to be themselves and discover themselves intellectually. By the same token, in terms of their social lives or the community life, it is this big diverse place.

Q.Does the college have specific programs to encourage woman leadership?

A.We do. We have a program that’s been in place for just two or three years now, so it’s very new, but its done amazingly well. It’s called the Athena Center for Leadership Studies. It is dedicated to helping young women think about their leadership potential, and more importantly what it has really done a great job of is actually giving young women leadership skills.There’s a lot of good talk in the U.S. and around the world about leadership, but a fair amount of it is hand waving and inspirational leadership. What we’ve tried to do is to think about what the skills are you need to run anything, a newspaper or a college or a Fortune 500 corporation. We hypothesize that there are certain skills you are going to need in any of those, and we teach those skills. We teach things like finance, negotiation, fund raising, and public speaking. So, it’s not specific to women – appropriately so because I don’t think there are women’s leadership skills, there are just leadership skills. But statistically, women seem less inclined to acquire these skills.

via Why Choose a Women’s College? – NYTimes.com.

There are 60 women’s colleges in 24 states in the US. (Massachusetts has 8 women’s colleges.) My hope is that more female college-bound students would be open to at least considering a campus visit at a women’s college. Here is a list of those colleges:

Judson College
Mills College
Mount St. Mary’s College
Scripps College
Woman’s College of the University of Denver
Hartford College for Women
St. Joseph College
Trinity University
Agnes Scott College
Brenau University  
Spelman College
Wesleyan College
Lexington College
St. Mary’s College
St. Mary-of-the-Woods College
Midway College
College of Notre Dame
Bay Path College
Lesley University
Mount Holyoke College

Pine Manor College
Regis College
Simmons College
Smith College

Wellesley College
College of St. Benedict
College of St. Catherine
Mississippi University for Women
Cottey College
Stephens College
College of St. Mary
College of St. Elizabeth
Douglas College of Rutgers University
Georgian Court College
Barnard College
College of New Rochelle
Russell Sage College
Wells College
Bennett College
Meredith College
Peace College
Salem College
Ursuline College
Bryn Mawr College
Carlow College
Cedar Crest College
Chatham College
Moore College of Art and Design
Rosemont College
Wilson College
Columbia College
Converse College
Texas Woman’s University
Hollins University
Mary Baldwin College
Sweet Briar College
Alverno College
Mount Mary College

via Women’s Colleges in the United States.

Teens’ concussion risk higher among girls and not just football

One of my students recently returned home from school due to a concussion that occurred during wrestling practice. I was somewhat surprised to hear a) that a tall guy like him was wrestling and b) that he suffered a concussion in this sport, rather than football (his Fall sport)!

We often associate concussions with football, but a recent study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that students in other contact sports, such as girls’ soccer or basketball, ice hockey, and lacrosse are also at risk. As lacrosse season is about to begin, let’s take note…

Estimates of the number of Americans suffering sports-related concussions have been climbing in recent years. That’s partly because more people are playing contact sports, young athletes are training more aggressively at an earlier age, and doctors are more aggressive about diagnosing concussions. A recent study found that in 2008, there were five concussions for every 10,000 U.S. high school athletes who hit the playing field. That was up from just about one per 10,000 a decade earlier.  . . . .

The other interesting finding is that girls had a higher concussion risk than boys.

In “gender-comparable” sports, girls had a 70 percent higher concussion rate than boys.

via Teens’ concussion risk not limited to football | Reuters.

As a side note, a number of colleges are adding girls’ lacrosse, such as the University of Southern California and Furman.

As teens continue to participate in sports throughout their high school and college years, it’s incumbent on parents, coaches, school administrators, and the broader community to be aware of the symptoms of concussion. Those symptoms, which may occur many hours after a blow to the head, include:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Let’s keep our teens safe!

Girls and easy campus romance

But the authors of a new book, “Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying,” say all this success has come at a great cost to women’s sexual bargaining power. When it comes to relationships, they say men are calling all the shots — which means less commitment and more sex.

via The sexual cost of female success – Sex News, Sex Talk – Salon.com.