As a part of our Girls in STEM Campaign, we are kicking off our Women in STEM Wednesday blog series! Every week, we will feature a girl or woman involved in STEM, and share her story. We want to highlight amazing accomplishments, and inspire girls to become involved with STEM. If you would like to be featured, fill out the interview form here:
Caroline Creidenberg is a 21 year old third year at the University of Denver. She is studying computer science with a minor in mathematics. She is involved in intramural sports and club soccer. She is originally from Kansas City, but is currently studying abroad in Vietnam and was in Switzerland last semester.
How did you first become involved with STEM?
I took a class fall semester of my freshman year and really enjoyed the challenge of coding, so I chose to continue down that track.
What do you enjoy about science, technology, math, or engineering?
The puzzle that it presents. It isn't like social sciences, where you are hypothesizing things and making conclusions. It's a challenge that most likely has an answer, but how you get there is up to you. I love the adventure of getting to the answer.
What did you think about STEM before you were involved? How have your views changed over time?
I thought computer science and coding was only for people who were passionate about computers and gaming, but what I've come to realize and love is that I don't have to be a huge gamer or reddit fan to be good at coding. I enjoy sports, being outside and fashion, but coding is fun for me and I'm good at it so I succeed in an academic setting. Coding doesn't have to be your whole life, or only hobby, in order to study computer science.
Have stereotypes ever influenced your view of STEM and what you do? Have you ever encountered any bias due to your gender or another factor?
Girls in computer science in general tend to be written off. It's not that they don't think we are smart or capable, they just assume we won't feel the same passion for coding so they don't necessarily take our initial interest serious. When I do end up scoring the highest in challenging classes, it turns heads. That's the part I love the most, the shock factor.
Why do you think that more girls should be interested in STEM?
It's an interesting and relevant study path. Fiscally speaking, you can make a lot of money studying STEM in college. It's also practical to know how to code this day and age. Even as a minor, it's beneficial for one's overall career path.
Do you see yourself having a career in a STEM field in the future (if you don't already)? If so, do you have a dream job or company?
Yes absolutely. My dream would be to eventually phase out of coding and go into project management within technology. The end goal is to have my own company in a field that through my STEM work, I am vastly knowledgeable in and could use that knowledge to improve a part of that field.
Have you created anything that you would like to tell us about?
I created an app for a group project that acted as an alarm in emergency situations. The initial idea was that it could help females in times of need in terms of sexual assault or robbery, but we expanded the app to just be for emergencies in general. When the alarm is activated people in the surrounding areas are alerted of the emergency nearby and can opt into helping out.
What advice do you have for beginners?
It doesn't have to be your whole life. If you enjoy the challenge of coding, continue it! You don't have to be a computer nerd or gamer to learn how to code.