SPIRIT - Program Description and Goals

The goal of SPIRIT can be found in its full name -- Surprising Possibilities Imagined and Realized through Information Technology (IT). Over the past decade, young women have been opting to pursue non-computing fields of study, but the career opportunities that exist in Information Technology are exciting, surprising, and often limited only by your imagination. Because IT supports so many disciplines, studying IT opens up numerous career opportunities in a variety of domains, including those that make a positive impact on society. Consequently, the SPIRIT project focuses on encouraging more young women to pursue computing careers, such as in information technology, computer science, network engineering and technology support.

SPIRIT's goals will be accomplished through programs for three select groups--high school teachers, high school guidance counselors, and high school students. The professional development programs for high school teachers and guidance counselors will introduce the numerous, wide-ranging and exciting career options that exist in those fields, particularly for young women. Part of the educational experience will include instruction on how to use Alice, a computer program that can be used to create animated stories and interactive games to convey technical subject material in an engaging manner.

SPIRIT also offers a summer camp for high school students to show them a variety of ways that IT can be used to benefit and support different facets of society. The summer camp experience also includes presentations by successful IT professionals from a variety of areas who will share how they make a difference with their IT knowledge.

For more information about programs for any of these groups, please use the relevant links above.