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BLOG: My STEM Summer

A BHHS student shares her summer learning experience with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

My name is , a student at , and I would like to share my Summer '12 story with you.

Until now, my typical summers consisted of summer school, beaches and conventional summer activities. I wanted something that was infinitely more productive—a summer that I can learn from, and know I will not regret. My brother suggested I go up to San Francisco with him and learn computer programming. I thought “Hey, why not.” The idea of spending a whole night hacking (programming an original project) was actually really appealing the moment my brother suggested I go to my first hackathon. A whole night of productiveness and learning—Bullseye.

Throughout the summer, we attended hackathons—programming and entrepreneurship competitions. Let me note that I had absolutely no prior programming experience. Everything that I now know is attributed to this summer, where everything I did related to the technology field.

Though my team and I did not win at the first couple hackathons we attended, our skills nonetheless improved with each experience. Our relentless spirit and vitality soon won us grand prizes at the Facebook-HerokuHack, ioHack and MobileAppCon.

The last and greatest achievement that sums up my whole programming journey is an app that I and two others built, called FileBeam. FileBeam is an Android app that allows DropBox users to share files with each other just through a simple tap of two Android phones together (must have NFC chip). In addition to these programming competitions, I got a chance to visit several amazing startups including TokBox, Twilio, Stripe and many more. I plan to intern at one of them next year :)

This summer made me realize two important things: 
One, that women are immensely under-represented in the tech world—so much so that many are actually looked down upon. And two, that teenagers have the opportunity to experience such wonderful events, but they are often never exposed to them. 
My goal now is to reveal to teenagers, especially women, that programming is for everyone, starting locally in my  (where I got my initial dose of STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education).

Thank you for reading my story :) 
I hope to inspire many more minds to join STEM programs!

With love,

Eva Zheng

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

AJ Willmer September 18, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Wonderful!. Please listen to Eva. This is how we need to have students learn science, technology, math, and engineering. It needs to be COMPLETELY articulated into the curriculum, across all the STEM areas. .

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