Code Savvy Connections
Our newsletters highlight a variety of people, organizations, and resources that are doing work to broaden participation and expand equitable and engaging computer science and STEM opportunities. We are honored to work in this space along with so many talented and passionate individuals and want to help bring attention to their work.
This Week’s Spotlight and Project-Inspiration Theme: AAPI STEM Innovators!
This week’s focus is AAPI STEM Innovators
Recently in the news and online there has been a growing movement to fight against anti-Asian racism and #StopAsianHate. At Code Savvy we want to support this growing movement by highlighting some Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals who have made great contributions to the field of STEM.
If you are old enough to remember the start of the internet, one of the first search engines you probably used was Yahoo! Jerry Yang is a tech entrepreneur who Co-Founded Yahoo and led a number of initiatives including the Alibaba Group. Mr. Yang left Yahoo in 2012, but has stayed involved in technology through serving on the board of directors for Workgroup, as well as investing in new innovations through his venture AME Cloud Ventures. He is also a philanthropist who focuses on higher education and the arts. Mr. Yang’s contributions made a huge impact on the direction the internet and other technologies would take.
Reshma Saujani is a politician, lawyer, civil servant, and more. Throughout her work visiting schools, she was inspired start the nonprofit organization Girls Who Code, which focuses on increasing the number of girls interested in computer science. At the 2016 TED Conference, Mrs. Saujani shared a TED Talk encouraging young girls to be brave and curious exploring computer science. Mrs. Saujani’s nonprofit organization and related work have inspired many young girls to try out computer science and see themselves as computer scientists.
Colonel Ellison Onizuka was a distinguished pilot in the Air Force, serving as a flight test engineer and test pilot. Colonel Onizuka later joined NASA as part of the astronaut class of 1978, which was the first to include women, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans. Colonel Onizuka became the first Asian American in space during a Space Shuttle Discovery Mission in 1985. Tragically in 1987, Colonel Onizuka lost his life on the Space Shuttle Challenger as it exploded shortly after launch.
There are many more AAPI individuals who have made contributions both large and small towards furthering the field of STEM. PBS recently shared a series of videos highlighting these and others, we encourage you to take some time to watch and explore more.
As you are exploring and practicing your own coding skills, try making a project that highlights the work of someone from the AAPI community, or spreads positive messages around #StopAsianHate. Be sure to share anything you create!
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