A Burnsville High School senior is in the running for a national computing and information technology award after winning a prestigious statewide award.
Maria Pena Chavez won the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Award for her computing and information technology aptitude, leadership ability, academic history and plans for post-secondary education, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District announced this month.
“Maria has the qualities of a true leader and a passion for the computer science field,” Cindy Drahos, BHS technology teacher, said in a statement. “Maria advocates for women in STEM education, specifically Hispanic women, by sharing a self-created, informative video about computer science.
“She is a curious student and asks clarifying questions in computer science class to better understand. Her communication and written skills stand out as being mature and intentional. Her strong academic history and commitment to computer science make her a perfect candidate for this award.”
The 18 state winners are automatically entered into the National Center for Women and Information Technology Aspirations Award (NCWIT) competition.
The NCWIT offers an annual awards program “recognizing young women, genderqueer, and non-binary high school students for their technology interests, skills and accomplishments,” according to the district. Since 2013, Minnesota has been a state affiliate, allowing high school students in Minnesota the opportunity to be selected as national and state award recipients.
A virtual awards ceremony will be held Wednesday, April 14. To learn more about the NCWIT visit www.ncwit.org.