[On the move] Education reform, the White House, and learning Git

The last week has been chock full of interesting meetings and travels, starting in Washington, DC discussing how to transform STEM education and now wrapping up at a Software Carpentry bootcamp in Cambridge, MA for women in science and engineering (more on that later).

The first stop was the AAAS in DC for a small workshop on transforming STEM education at the university level. The event brought together funders, institutional heads, and practitioners, working to push systemic change in the university. There was a strong focus on retention rates (there’s a steep dropoff in STEM undergrads after year 2), diversity and curriculum design. More on that to come in another post.

Then, on to the White House for the Champions of Change event on Open Science, where 13 stellar members of the community were recognised for their contributions. The Mozilla Science Lab was honored to be a part of the day’s celebrations, co-hosting the Open Science poster session and reception in the Indian Treaty Room with the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Many have written about the day’s event, but perhaps my favorite post is by my former colleague John Wilbanks, about making “open” stand for something. We’re thrilled to have been able to support the event (and getting to throw get togethers in the White House doesn’t hurt for a Thursday either. 😉 )

Then, on to Boston. To round off the trip, I participated in a Software Carpentry (part of the skills portion we’re building out at the Science Lab) workshop for women in science and engineering, held this past Monday and Tuesday. The two-day bootcamp provided training on using shell, Git, iPython (lesson taught in the iPython notebook) and SQLite. Over 120 women participated in the event, one of their largest to date. Stay tuned for a separate post. Needless to say, I head out today with a brain well-exercised and buzzing with ideas from the last 10 days.


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