In honour of Ada Lovelace Day on October 13th, 2015 I dedicated the October Issue of New Resources to Girls in STEAM. However, many don’t know who Ada Lovelace was and why she’s such a big deal. Actually, before writing this, I had no clue either. However, I felt obligated to get to know her bearing in mind that she was the 1st Computer Programmer.. ever. So, here’s some facts, personal opinions and other great things having to do with Ada.
Ada was born on December 10th, 1815 in London, UK and she was raised by her mother. Lady Byron (Ada’s mum) didn’t want Ada to be politically involved, as her father was. Therefore, she enrolled Ada in math and music tutoring. Additionally, the two moved to a sophisticated part of London where there weren’t any political men but instead, a community that spent there time studying sciences like botany, geology and astronomy.
In this community, Ada befriended Charles Babbage, whom she worked with for her lifetime. When Ada was 17, she and Babbage realised that they had so many similarities. In 1842, Charles recruited Ada to assist him with inventing a calculating machine. She translated a french memoir about an Analytical Engine and she also added a set of notes to correct somethings that it consisted.
Ada called herself “an Analyst (& Metaphysician),” and she was Charles’s “Enchantress of Numbers” . Ada comprehended the calculating machine as much as Babbage did and she saw the Analytical Engine as a current day, general-purpose computer. Their invention was capable of calculating any functions of indeterminate levels of generality and difficulty and in her notes, it showed that in the future, this machine would be able to develop further advancements like computer-generated music.
Unfortunately, Ada Lovelace passed away at an early age of 37 on November 27th, 1852. Her contributions to STEAM are irreplaceable and she is a role model to young women pursuing careers in this field.
This shows us that girls have the capability to do this. Our society today may not encourage women to enter this field, but it is up to us to be part of the motion to close the #gendergap and cultivate the Women In STEAM community from an early age. Keeping in mind that this is evolving, STEAM is still a male-dominant field and women aren’t seen as competent enough to do anything other than artistic and other, stereotypical activities. Remember that the first computer programmer was a women, and noticing that there are many other women role models in our society and these facts are enough to power us to push through the stereotypical barriers and to pursue the field that interests you.
That’s why Techsters is continuing to make an effort to have the club open to both girls and boys. We intend to open up the ground and invite girls (and boys) to share their ideas, collaborate with others and be the leaders of the next generation.
Read more about how people are working to towards an equally represented field and about women role models that can empower you, by checking out the October Issue of New Resources .