Thursday, August 13, 2015

Guest Blogger: Isabelle Termaat on Shifting the Status Quo in STEM

My name is Isabelle  Termaat, I live in Puerto Rico, and I’ve been a Girl Scout for 12 years, starting as a Daisy. I first became interested in coding when my Girl Scout troop toured AOL. After that, I started going to Girls in Technology events, where I got to meet people who code for a living. Once I entered tenth grade, I became heavily involved in computer science. I took classes and joined every tech-related club I could find. Through that, I learned about game design, robotics, cyber security, and more.

I think it’s really important for girls to become more involved in computer science and engineering because we provide a new and valuable perspective. The technology industry is growing and there are more positions for coders than there are coders to fill the positions. Made with Code and the partnership that Girl Scouts has with Google are amazing assets that empower Girl Scouts to explore their passions in the computer science field.

I had a fantastic and memorable day at Google. I was able to meet with very inspirational women who work there and code in a male-dominated environment. They explained to us the challenges associated with being a female in the technology industry, but they also told us how it works out in the end and makes you a stronger person.

Google as a company has many admirable qualities, such as its desire to explore and achieve the impossible. Google X is where Googlers take “moonshot” ideas and try their best to turn them into a reality. I think it’s very important for girls, especially, to realize that there are no boundaries and that imagination can become reality.

The highlight of my day at Google was using the Google Cardboard. Cardboard is a virtual reality system that uses your phone, some lenses, and a simple cardboard construction. You can play video games, watch movies, learn about the world, and more with a four-dollar piece of cardboard and a phone. It was really fascinating and I was even able to take a prototype home with me.

Google inspired me to think outside the box and push the limits that society has set for us. I would be honored to work for Google in the future. Currently, I am continuing to explore technology through computer science classes, and I am sharing my passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge with my peers at school by starting a computer science club. I am very honored and grateful for the amazing opportunity Girl Scouts gave me, and I will remember my day at Google forever.