Gracie Young is a senior studying Computer Science at Stanford University. She loves making things, from mobile apps and robots to floor rugs crocheted from recycled tech t-shirts. At school, she co-led Women in Computer Science, managed the Stanford Powwow website, and served as a Teaching Assistant for the Android development class. She’s had the opportunity to intern at Google, Qualcomm, and the US Navy.
1. When did you know you wanted to be in tech?
During my first year of college, I really enjoyed my introductory computer science classes. But it wasn’t until my first hackathon, PearlHacks 2015 that I began to envision myself in the tech industry. I had no idea what a hackathon was, but I had imagined it was an event where unbathed tech bros coded through the night on scary levels of caffeine. But PearlHacks was delightfully different! It was an all female-identifying hackathon, almost everyone slept, and the bathrooms were stocked with toiletries. I found a team of two other women, and together we built a website — my first — that let people post and claim lost/found items. At the end of the hackathon, as I looked around at the other participants and admired their finished products, I felt included in the maker community and inspired to be in tech. After PearlHacks, I’ve continued to attend hackathons and play with new technologies and ideas that keep me excited about the industry.
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.