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Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE)


CAITE designs and carrys out comprehensive programs that address under-representation in information technology (IT).

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CAITE Highlight

Girls Inc. Visits UMass Amherst(2009)

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Not sure of the translation? Ask a middle schooler from Holyoke.

Continuing CAITE's collaboration with Girls Incorporated of Holyoke begun last August, a second group of middle school girls visited the University of Massachusetts Amherst in February. This group toured information technology workplaces to learn about computer-related careers and also participated in a workshop led by female UMass computer photo girls solving binary worksheetscience students.

UMass computer science graduate students Megan Olson, Naomi Fox, Negin Salajegheh, Jackie Kennedy and undergraduate Stevie Sellers presented a workshop introducing binary numbers to the girls. The activity is one of several designed for all ages that available free of charge from

This tech field trip was arranged by CAITE along with the academic computing department at the Office of Information Technology (organized by Laura Yahn, coordinator of instructional design and faculty support). The girls were participating in a program over school vacation week that introduces them to information technology.

Sarah Dunton, director of youth development at Girls Inc. said of the day: "The girls left excited about completing their names in binary code and looking at more websites about IT schools and professions. It is a gift to have a program such as CAITE and CS and IT programs so close and accessible to girls living in Holyoke. Both trips that CAITE and Girls Inc. have collaborated on have allowed the staff at Girls Inc. to bring the Build IT curriculum to life. We can talk about IT
degrees, learn about IT degrees, and research IT professions and degrees; however, meeting women in IT and computer science allows the girls to really comprehend how they can continue their IT learning beyond a week-long or 2-week long program."

Girls Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring girls to seek education and meet physical and intellectual challenges. Holyoke Girls Inc. is one of eight sites nationally that are piloting "Build IT, " which originated in Alameda County, Calif. and was developed with support of the National Science Foundation and the Noyce Foundation.