An Interactive Computer Science Activity for Teens from BoSTEM

This year on Ada Lovelace’s birthday and during Computer Science Education Week BoSTEM celebrated the first published female computer scientist to encourage more women to pursue a career in computer science. Ada Lovelace is an inspirational icon! She helped create the first computer, defined computational conditional statements and was the inspiration for the enigma coding device all back in the 1800s. We celebrated her as part of the “Monthly Movie, Make + Meet!” Series, which you can participate in by signing up for our newsletter

Here is how we ran the event and how you can bring this activity to your class/home:

  1. Movie: The movie we watched was a publicly accessible documentary about the life of Ada Lovelace made by the BBC, entitled “Calculating Ada – The Countess of Computing” (Watch it here).
  2. Make: The making activity was a Raspberry Pi coding activity on Scratch inspired by Ada’s invention (see the activity here and an example a student made here).
  3. Meet: Then students were able to meet/ask questions of actual computer scientists from the Rapid 7 Rotational Program
    • We would be happy to schedule similar speakers with your students or cater one of these events towards your students if you sign up using this link
    • Otherwise consider supplementing the “meet” part of the event with these STEM recorded videos about Computer Science (For more access to our collection of videos please sign up for our newsletter): 
      • STEM Chat: Max Berezin & Ned Cramer, Rapid7 – Computer Science, Coding
      • Critical STEM Conversation: Ethan Arrowood, Microsoft – Personal branding for computer science
      • STEM Chat: Spencer Hommel – Avanti Financial Group, Bitcoin, Computer Science
      • STEM Chat: Bhavesh Bhanushali -Google

We also gave students the option to add to Ada’s “virtual birthday card”, which was a padlet you can see below. Click here to see a smattering of inspiring quotes, gifs, well wishes and completed projects. If you do this activity at home consider adding to our padlet! 

I hope you bring the love of Lovelace to your house and encourage the students in your lives to become STEM professionals! 

On January 27th at 6pm for our “Movie, Make + Meet” event we will watch a movie on sailing, meet sailing professionals, and build sustainable boats on January 27th at 6pm EST click here for more information

To learn about our upcoming events (including movie nights, math escape rooms and medical board games), access to a library of video conversations with STEM professionals, and more lesson plans/STEM activities to do at home join our weekly newsletter! If your email is overwhelming right now consider joining our facebook group. Finally, if you are a STEM professional or know of a STEM professional that might be willing to do events like this send them here