Replacing Books with Computers | Dilce Oliveira | TEDxBeaverCountryDaySchool

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Dilce Oliveira tackles the importance of incorporating technology into modern-day education from a young age. The future isn’t something we’re going towards, it’s something we’re creating. Dilce Oliveira is a 17-year-old aspiring engineer and music artist from Stoughton Mass. A student at Beaver Country Day School, Dilce has always loved combining the things she loves in different mediums. She loves conducting research on wearable technology and robotics. She runs desiGn lab and is a member of Robo-Sub and also runs Acoustic Coffee House Club and is a Choir leader of the Beaver Country Day School Honors Choir, Select Singers. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx <br> <h3>Auto Generated Captions</h3>

[Music]
when I first came to beaver country day
school I was 11 years old I had never
had a laptop and I wanted to be a pop
star coming to Beaver from my local
public school was a huge transition for
starters beaver operates mostly on
computers which means not only did I
have to get one but I had to learn how
to use it there were a lot of things I
struggled with at first like managing
accounts the Google suite and even
things as simple as remembering
passwords there were a lot of times
where I couldn’t help but feel behind a
lot of my classmates because they knew
how to use these tools in ways that I
just did it it was in the way that they
could edit things on iMovie or the way
they even knew about Photoshop and even
the way they were able to change the
themes on their web browsers by the end
of my sixth grade year I’ve caught up I
committed my passwords to memory I’d
mastered the Google suite and I’d
watched more iMovie tutorials than I
could honestly keep count of little did
I know this was just the beginning as
technology became more ingrained in my
education I started to think more about
how it works had a website to operate
how does my computer know what to do
when I’m typing and how do we talk to
computers the answer to that question
was through coding the way it was
explained to me was as a language for
computers in my eighth grade history
class we were tasked with finding an
innovative way to study I decided I
wanted to code something an interactive
study guide on an app called pencil code
now that I look back it’s the easiest
code I’ve ever written but as we know
hindsight is 20/20 the point is that in
the span of three years I went from not
being able to use my Google Calendar to
being able to write code and in the span
of that time I’ve learned a lot about
myself mainly that I am NOT a test taker
but I am an engineer
coming to his school like beaver we’re
engineering and stem is so at the
forefront I’ve been able to watch a
student explore stem and engineering
through mindsets that are both creative
as well as academic I’ve seen students
turn math equations into artwork in
lines of code into snapchat filters for
me learning how to code has taught me so
much more than I would have guessed I’ve
learned how to be patient and pay
attention to detail I’ve learned to
think about things logically versus
exponentially and I’ve learned how to
take someone else’s idea and remix it to
be my own when I first started
engineering I was really worried about
making a mistake and I was terrified to
ask questions so much so that I’d rather
stay quiet and for those of you who know
me you know that’s not my normal style
I was never shy the problem was I didn’t
feel like there was space for me I
didn’t know how to be an engineer I
didn’t know how to use a 3d printer or a
laser cutter and I couldn’t even name a
real coding language and I gotten this
idea stuck in my head that just
everybody knew how to do that and
growing up I had such a warped
perception of who engineers were I
thought you had to look a certain way
and be introduced to it a certain way
and most importantly I thought you had
to know everything to call yourself an
engineer coming to his space where
science and engineering are valued at
every level has taught me that a
engineer’s come from all backgrounds and
with all abilities and be that everybody
starts somewhere and for me starting was
the hardest part to combat this I
suggest starting early I was 11 when I
came to beaver and I was introduced to
science and engineering and even though
I didn’t get more involved until I was
older I was still really really young
when I was introduced we should be
teaching kids how to handle technology
in the same way we’re teaching them how
to handle things like grammar and math
and that’s why starting small and
starting young that way by the time
these kids are in high school they’re
fearless they’re confident in their
abilities in ways that I wish I were and
most importantly they save a lot of time
about worrying about space because the
space was always there for them for me
and for a lot of students it’s the
things that we don’t know that are
really scary I think that for me
learning how to be an engineer was so
life-changing and this opportunity needs
to be present in the livelihoods of all
children but especially girls and even
more so girls of color according to the
National Science Foundation 4.8% of the
science and engineering workforce are
African Americans and engineering alone
it’s 3.8 percent and 2016 engineering
degrees were earned by 2.9 percent of
African American women that’s
unacceptable
I’ve had people comment to me back at
these statistics that maybe it’s just
that girls and people of color aren’t
interested in STEM I proposed the
problem is a lack of access how can we
expect students to know that they want
to code if they don’t have access to a
computer how can you expect a student to
become an engineer when they’ve never
had the resources nor the space to
practice I’ve been able to take
engineering and tailor it to myself
I’ve taken fashion and combined with
engineering through putting my Charlie
card into a ring I was able to join my
school’s robotics team and compete in a
Robotics Competition in California
called robosub I was also the only girl
that competed that year and the only
African American one of the only African
Americans in the entire competition that
was a feat to see I find that through
engineering and through science and stem
there’s so much that can be expressed
that oftentimes gets lost in translation
when students don’t have access to these
resources
science engineering can be life-changing
but we need to fix the system so that
students have options the option to do
so
my name’s still C and I’m an engineer
[Applause]

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