I was minding my own business, scrolling thru the Facebooks, and I came upon some awards I knew young women and their parents would want to know about. So I reached out to John Bartucz, a computer science teacher with the Rochester Public Schools (scroll down for his bio). 

"Thanks for reaching out, James. There is actually a lot going on in this space right now.

The NCWIT Aspirations award is given to young women in high school and college who plan on making a difference in the world through computing. Given at both state and national levels, the main goal of the award is to connect and support young women throughout their careers. Rochester has had several winners every year at the state level.

The Minnesota Society of Women Engineers sponsors a competition every year for Freshmen and Sophomore high school women to solve an existing problem. This year, the problem is that Asian Carp are migrating up the Mississippi River. They have closed the St. Anthony dam, but that requires barges to unload all of their cargo instead of going through the lock system. Applicants must submit a proposal to either open the lock while still blocking the fish or somehow relieve Minneapolis of the traffic from the extra trucks.

In addition to these two awards, the Rochester Area Youth Tech Foundation is working with Community Ed to start "Girls Who Code" clubs at all the middle and high schools this year and all the elementary schools within 5 years. Any teachers, paras, media specialists or parents that are interested in helping with these clubs should contact john@raytf.org or visit http://raytf.org - no tech experience required!

I hope that helps! I am definitely happy to talk more about what the RAYTF is doing any time.

Take care, John"

John Bartucz is a computer science teacher in Rochester, MN. His home school is CTECH, but he also teaches at Century, Mayo and JM High Schools as well as Winona State University.

Listen to James Rabe 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM, and 2p to 6p on 103.9 The Doc.

Interesting note about young women in tech: It is very hard to find stock images or news images of young women in tech. So much so that the image you see above is the only licensed image of a gathering of young women I could find that didn't fall into the "young girls being silly" category. Here's the caption:

"BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 26: Participants of Girls' Day listen to German Chancellor Angela Merkel speak on April 26, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The event is meant to encourage young women to pursue careers in all parts of the German economy, especially in sciences, information technology and engineering, and this year occurs simultaneously with the W20 women's empowerment summit, sponsored by the G20 Group of 20 major economic powers. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

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