Il y à quelques mois, pour le magazine Programmez!, j’ai eu le plaisir d’interviewer Katie Denton, une jeune makeuse bourrée de talent et j’ai souhaité vous partager la version anglaise/originale de cette interview.
Hi Katie, can you first of all, present yourself? (name, age, class …)

My name is Katie Denton, I am 12 years old, and live in Texas. I am currently in 7th grade at school, but 9th grade for Math. I run the MakerKatie STEM blog and YouTube channel.

Since how long you are “maker”, how did you fall into? What was your first project?

I got my first Raspberry Pi for my 10th birthday and began writing code in Python, using it to light up LEDs. My first big project was a custom Kossel Mini 3-D printer, which I completed about a year ago. I’d wanted a 3D printer for a long time, and I had to do a ‘Passion Project’ for school, and my dad asked why not build the 3D Printer you want for the project? It took me several months to complete and was a lot of work, but I learnt a lot too.

You met the creator of the Raspberry Pi? It what for what occasion?

I met the creator of Raspberry Pi (Eben Upton) pretty much by accident. I had been emailing him with questions about using a Raspberry Pi in my 3D Printer project. He was coming to Texas for SXCreate at South by South West and he was running a display, and he invited me to come meet him. I talked to him for about an hour and he gave me lots of ideas.

You have been in Women@NASA Girls and Boys Summer Mentoring program? Can you  tell us about?

I was chosen to take part in the Girls and Boys Summer Mentoring Program last summer and it was so fun! Every week I got to Skype/FaceTime a NASA engineer and I got to choose an activity to do that day. The projects were based around STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – a different topic every week. Some of the projects were online activities, others included building a robotic hand, and a model of the first Wright Brothers airplane.

In France there are only 10% of women developer. This figure is the same in the US and Europe. What do you think?

I believe that this number is way too low. Girls should be encouraged in school to do what they want to do, and not to be discouraged that there are no other girls working with them. An example is our school’s robotics competitions club. We had to form teams, and one of my friends and I convinced some of the other interested girls to form an all-girls team. At the competition there were 38 teams, nearly all of them were all-boys teams. We got to the semi-finals! My robotics class at school is mostly boys. Another technology class I had, I was the only 7th grade girl – a lot of these classes are considered ‘boy’s activities’, and that is wrong.

Which advices you want to give to kids and young women?

If you want to try and do programming or electronics, then try and don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to fail, you learn lots from your mistakes. What really helps is having a mentor – someone that can help you and teach you.

You can tell us everything you want about you, your past, present and future projects, your future studies, if you know your future job… It’s a free question/answer ;-).

For this year Passion Project I am building a super computer out of 16 Raspberry Pi 3’s and possibly a few other boards. This is a long term project and is going to be the brain for my army of robots, starting with my Rapiro Robot and GoPiGo2. To start with I’m going to install several nodes with OpenCV so my robots can do facial recognition and character recognition. I’m going to install a couple of nodes with JASPER, so I can work on voice control for the Robots. Then several nodes will run a Hadoop cluster – this will give me a big data store, and maybe let me start doing some Machine Learning projects. Eventually I’d like to get it to 64 nodes and see how fast I can make it.

My all-girls Robotics team is going to continue next year, we already have our team together. Next year’s VEX challenge is announced at the end of April, and we are planning to start designing our robot over the summer.

I recently went on a school trip to Silicon Labs, and next week we have another trip to go to Google, those are always fun.

In the future I want to continue with the Programming/Robotics field – I think Robotics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are going to be very important in the future.