The RoC HoPLo Lab

Larchmont Public Library

121 Larchmont Ave, Larchmont, NY 10538
Phone: (914) 834-2281

October 15th, 22nd, 29th, and November 5th.
Each session starts at 6pm.

The RoC HoPLo Lab

  • There are currently only 15 women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies this is less than 4%.
  • Women make up only 3% of clout executives of media, telecom and e-companies.
  • Women hold 17% of the seats in the House of Representatives.
  • Only 34 women have ever served as governors compared to 2319 men.
  • In 2011, women comprised 18% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films.
  • Source:

The Roizen Cleopatra Hopper Parks Lovelace (RoC HoPLo) Lab looks to address gender inequity by teaching skills such as computer programming. In these four sessions, we will be building a game called Roll-a- Ball using  gaming platform called Unity3D.

There will also be a robotic component to this course using a robotic ball called Sphero where in addition to the robotic aspects of Sphero, we will also be using it as a game controller.

We will also have the students take a Gender-Science Study Implicit Association Test (IAT). In addtion, the students will do two affirmation exercises. They will do a self-affirmation exercise and an affirmation excise on women scientists. There is additional information about IAT and affirmation exercise below in the background information section.
Background information

Research has shown a Woman’s performance, even at a high level, is related to an inter-play of gender self-concept and implicit academic stereotypes beyond awareness and short-term control. For example, most people find it easier to associate Male with Science and Female with Liberal Arts compared to the reverse. We are looking to demonstrate that we can affect the implicit association of Female with Science in a positive direction.

According to an American Psychological Association article, a group of social and cognitive psychologists have approach this problem not based on the idea that at least some of these disparities are the result of faulty teaching or broken school systems, but instead spring from toxic stereotypes that cause ethnic-minority and other students such as women to question whether they belong in school and whether they can do well there. While such a major problem might seem to require widespread social change to fix, the psychologists are finding evidence that short, simple interventions can make a surprisingly large difference. Quick classroom exercises that bolster students’ resistance to stereotypes and change the way they think about learning can have dramatically out-of-scale effects, these researchers say.

And indeed, they’ve gotten dramatic results. In one of the best-known studies, low-performing black middle school students who completed several 15-minute classroom writing exercises raised their GPAs by nearly half a point over two years, compared with a control group.

Researchers have tested the model in other populations, including among female physics students. Women in science face some of the same stereotypes, and achievement gaps, that blacks and Latinos face in the rest of academia. In 2008, women earned only 20 percent of the bachelor’s degrees and 18 percent of the doctorates awarded in physics, according to the American Physical Society, even though they earned nearly 60 percent of bachelor’s degrees overall.

About 400 students in an introductory physics class at the University of Colorado–Boulder complete a personal-value writing exercise similar to the one used in the Connecticut middle school study. The college physics students did the exercise twice, once during the first week of the semester and once right before the first exam.

The researchers found that women who did the self-affirmation exercise did significantly better in the class: Among the control group, about 60 percent of the women earned C’s and less than 30 percent earned B’s. In the self-affirmation group, as many women earned B’s as earned C’s. The exercise didn’t affect men’s grades in the class.

According to the Full Potential Initiative:

Evidence is accumulating to suggest that even women who are well above average in math ability can be influenced by implicit gender stereotypes about math achievement. Kiefer and Sekaquaptewa tracked the performance of women across a semester of college calculus after asking them questions about their explicit math-gender stereotypes and indirectly measuring their implicit math-gender stereotypes. They found (after taking into account previously demonstrated math skill) that the women’s explicit gender-math stereotypes made no difference to their final exam performance, but those with relatively strong implicit “math=male” stereotypes averaged worse on their final exams.

Interestingly, the achievement benefit of a weaker implicit stereotype was limited (on average) to women who rated the fact of being a woman as relatively less central to their self-concept. Among those rating womanhood as relatively more central to their self-concept, a weak implicit math-gender stereotype did not inoculate them from the same decrement in calculus performance experienced by those with stronger implicit stereotypes.

The take-home message? Women’s math performance, even at a high level, is related to an inter-play of gender self-concept and implicit academic stereotypes beyond awareness and short-term control. Other research points to possibilities for changing implicit stereotypes.

President Obama at Cairo University

President Obama, Cairo University, Egypt, June 4, 2009

Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity—men and women—to reach their full potential.

~ President Obama, Cairo University, Egypt, June 4, 2009

Vivek Wadhwa’s article “Let the Boys Have Their Social Media While Women Save the World:”

I have written extensively about the challenges that women in tech face: how they are commonly discouraged during childhood from becoming engineers and scientists; the struggles they face in male-dominated tech companies; and the way in which they are stereotyped and mistreated by some investors when they look for startup funding. This is despite there being virtually no difference between men and women entrepreneurs in motivation, education, and capability. Indeed, Kauffman Foundation’s analysis showed that women are actually more capital-efficient than men, and Babson’s Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found  that women-led high-tech startups have lower failure rates than those led by men.

Heidi Roizen

Heidi Roizen, more likable as a man?

Heidi Roizen was co-founder and CEO of a software company called T/Maker Company, one of first developers of spreadsheet software. Roizen also served on the board of directors and was the president of the Software Publishers Association.Roizen was the Vice President of World Wide Developer Relations for Apple Computer. She also served on the board of Great Plains Software until its acquisition by Microsoft.Roizen served as the Public Governor of the Pacific Exchange and on the executive committee of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).Roizen entered the venture capital world, first as a Managing Director of SOFTBANK Venture Capital (which became Mobius Venture Capital), and then joined global investor Draper Fisher Jurvetson as a Venture Partner.She also launched her own entrepreneurial venture, SkinnySongs. In September 2008, the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives awarded Heidi Roizen their annual Achievement Award.

Roizen was elected to the Board of Directors of TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO), and was also elected to the board of DMGT (LSE:DMGT), the London-based global media and information company which owns the Daily Mail and Mail Online. At the time she was elected, she became the first female director in the company’s 116 year history.

Roizen is currently a Lecturer and Entrepreneurship Educator at Stanford University, where she teaches the course ‘Spirit of Entrepreneurship’ in the MS&E (Engineering) department.

She is a Stanford University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English and a MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Roizen was the subject of a study by Francis Flynn when he was a professor at Columbia University. He describe how she became a successful venture capitalist by relying on her outgoing personality and huge personal and professional network. He had a group of students read Roizen’s story with her real name attached and another group read the story with the name changed to “Howard.” Then the students rated Howard and Heidi on their accomplishments and on how appealing they seemed as colleagues. While the students rated them equally in terms of success, they thought Howard was likable while Heidi seemed selfish and not “the type of person you would want to hire or work for.”


Queen Cleopatra pieced together from images on ancient artifacts by Egyptologist Sally Ann Ashton

The modern perception of the legendary Egyptian Queen Cleopatra as a beautiful and manipulative diva is opposed by a new study that suggests that the real Cleopatra was in fact far more respected for her intellectual prowess than for her physical beauty. Scientific books written by her were considered the definitive works in their field.  She was a scholar who made significant contributions in the fields of alchemy, medicine and mathematics.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper is a computer science pioneer who developed the first compiler for a computer programming language.
In the 1930s, Rosa Parks joined her husband Raymond and others in secret meetings to defend the Scottsboro boys—nine young African-American men accused of raping two white women in Alabama in 1931. Her investigative work for the NAACP in the 1940s exposed her to the horrific racial and sexual violence whites visited upon blacks who refused to abide by the segregated status quo. Parks was a lifelong believer in self-defense. Malcolm X was her personal hero. She worked alongside the Black Power movement, particularly around issues such as reparations, black history, anti-police brutality, freedom for black political prisoners, independent black political power, and economic justice.
Ada Lovelace is the daughter of poet Lord Byron:

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

Lovelace is considered to be the world’s first computer programmer.


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