Britt Marshall, a first-year student at Middlesex Community College and single mother to 3- and 7-year-old girls, grew up wanting to take care of people.
So when it came time to begin higher education, Marshall thought she might like to study pre-med, but it wasn’t until she learned about a computer coding course through her church that she solidified her career goal — and took a big step toward her family’s future.
“We have — and this is not just a Middletown problem, it’s a global problem — a shortage of software developers,” said Professor Donna Hylton, program coordinator of Computer Information Technology and Management Information Systems at MxCC.
Hylton, who has been in a traditionally male-dominated field since the late 1970s, took a semester-long sabbatical in June to work on a project to increase STEM awareness among underrepresented populations within the community.
“We are not attracting a lot of people who look like me, and hardly any females, and particular ethnic groups are missing from our degrees. I wanted to bring some intentional programming that would attract women and girls,” said Hylton, who is also a pastor of administration and counseling at Shiloh Baptist Church on Saybrook Road.
She soon after arrived at her sabbatical project: STEAM Train. STEAM is an acronym for Strategically Train, Educate, Assist, and Mentor.
Each Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.