This Tuesday I had the distinct privilege of facilitating a group of five young women as they built out a Web page detailing their experiences that day on Yahoo's Sunnyvale campus.
The participants came to us courtesy of the Santa Clara region of the Society of Women Engineers, which sponsors GetSET (SET = Science, Engineering, Technology). GetSET is a four-year mentoring program that reaches out to girls in high school who are from groups typically under-represented in engineering and computer science.
As part of their GetSET Summer Week, students spent the day touring our facilities, participating in panel discussions, and documenting what they saw, heard, and felt. At the end of the day they had two hours to come up with a Web page that described their experiences.
My group took photos and used simple tools--TextPad, Microsoft Paint, stone knives, and bear skins--to build out a highly effective page, using YUI's Font, CSS, Reset, and Grids technologies. Other groups created Maps, Flickr, and Video mash-ups. At the end of the day, everybody stood up and presented their work to the applause of their mentors and peers, Hack Day style.
There are times when it's tempting to throw up one's hands in despair and just give up hope. (Here's a chilling thought: the MySpace/YouTube generation will be choosing your retirement home.) After Tuesday, however, I'm pleased to report that at least one tiny corner of the future is in very good hands.
Kent Brewster, Yahoo! Developer Network