PTSA, IHS Girls in STEM, and Code for Fun screen “The Computers”

Panel+speakers+Britanny+Bir%2C+Monica+Bajaj%2C+Mitali+Dhar%2C+and+Praniti+Lakhwara+answer+questions+from+audiences.
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PTSA, IHS Girls in STEM, and Code for Fun screen “The Computers”

Panel speakers Britanny Bir, Monica Bajaj, Mitali Dhar, and Praniti Lakhwara answer questions from audiences.

Panel speakers Britanny Bir, Monica Bajaj, Mitali Dhar, and Praniti Lakhwara answer questions from audiences.

Annika Yong

Panel speakers Britanny Bir, Monica Bajaj, Mitali Dhar, and Praniti Lakhwara answer questions from audiences.

Annika Yong

Annika Yong

Panel speakers Britanny Bir, Monica Bajaj, Mitali Dhar, and Praniti Lakhwara answer questions from audiences.

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On Dec. 9, the Parent Teacher Student Association, Code for Fun, and IHS Girls in STEM Club held a free movie screening of the documentary “The Computers” in the cafeteria from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. The movie was about the Eniac programmers, six women programmers who coded the world’s earliest general purpose computer. “The Computers” was about how these women never received credit for their breakthrough or honor for their hard work because they were women until sixty years later.

The documentary screening was followed by a Q&A section with four panel speakers, Britanny Bir,  COO of the school 42 USA; Monica Bajaj, Senior Engineering manager at NetApp; Mitali Dhar, a MIT and Harvard Graduate, and Praniti Lakhwara, VP of IT at Nimble Storage, all of whom are influential women in STEM fields.

The four speakers provided insight into STEM careers to the audience by talking about their experiences and important things that lead to their respective paths to success.

“Do not ever stay in your comfort zone, you’ve gotta step out and put yourself in an uncomfortable situation in order to succeed,” said speaker Monica Bajaj. “Whether you are a student, or you’re working, if you are the only [person of different gender] or when you’re in minority, do not think in that way, everybody has the right to express, do not hesitate, do not feel shy, you definitely need to make sure you [voice out your words].”

The club members and the audience were inspired by the speakers’ experiences, projects, and noted their helpful advices.

“I think their stories, especially when they talked about their most exciting projects are inspiring and showed their passion,” said senior Charusheela Garapathy. “I also learned about some of the stories behind the Eniac from the documentary and that the women programmers were seen as machines instead of people and should be given credit.”

“The Computers” movie screening event ran smoothly, with many club members taking home a deeper insight of computer science and technological careers.

“I think the movie screening event can be very inspirational for girls because the women portrayed in the documentaries are extremely passionate about their work, and the energy they displayed shows us that STEM, especially computer science, can be very exciting and rewarding despite the challenges.” said Mary Xu, the president of the IHS Girls in STEM Club. “The panel after the movie is a great way for students to connect with women in the field and ask questions or receive words of advice.”