Six steps to making your very own Ada Lovelace Day in Fall 2016

Ada Lovelace Day YorkUSuw Charmin-Anderson launched International Ada Lovelace Day in 2009 as a way of both recognizing, and taking action to reverse the under-representation of women in STEM in Wikipedia. The official day is the 2nd Tuesday of October, but events run through the Fall.

I first heard about her project in 2013, and threw around the idea of holding an Ada Lovelace Day at York, with my friend, John Dupuis, one of our Steacie librarians. It took us 2 years to get around to actually doing it. It had seemed a rather daunting task, but in the end, we discovered that it was actually much simpler than we anticipated. We had a speaker on STEMinism, and a Wikipedia editathon.

Here's our recipe for those readers interested in holding an Ada Lovelace Day at your university or college. We hope that you will consider doing this, since what it's all about is spreading the word and the action. These 6 steps are explained further in the tweets below.

  1. Find a friendly science or engineering faculty librarian, and ask them to book you a classroom with computers for a day.
  2. Find a speaker to give a talk about some aspect of women in STEM. We will start to compile lists of speakers. We recommend finding local speakers, or even showing a documentary about Ada Lovelace or another woman who made unrecognized, but impprtant contributions to STEM, like Hedy Lamarr.
  3. Apply for funding to pay for snacks and pizza for the talk and the Wikipedia. Since this is a STEM -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics -- event, your friendly engineering faculty should be willing to pitch in.
  4. Register your event on the International Ada Lovelace Day website to let people around the world know that it's happening.
  5. Make a poster: use this handy poster template to help you to publicize your events. Or use the templates in the FindingAda organizers' pack.
  6. Get the word out across campus.