Adhwita Gopi Selvan
Founder and Co-President Inspire Curiosity
Champaign, Illinois, USA / Asian/Asian American
🎓 Undergraduate in Computer Science + Education Learning Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
😁 Adhwita is trained in classical Indian dance.
Adhwita encourages students to unleash their creativity through constructive design.
ABOUT HER WORK
Adhwita's work has revolutionized online CS education, offering students of all backgrounds a diverse curriculum, from programming basics to website development. Her nonprofit has reached over 800 students across 13 US states and Canada through online classes and in-person in low-income areas and communities. With a focus on hands-on learning, her courses aim to cultivate the next generation of critical thinkers and problem solvers. Unique offerings include app development, AI network creation, and VR headset building using CS frameworks. Adhwita has raised over $50,000 to provide CS education to underprivileged children.
WATCH & DISCUSS
Watch: What is AI
How do you define AI?
ADVICE TO YOUNGER SELF
Adhwita first learned computer science in Middle School (grades 6-8, ages 11-14)
“If I could give my 12-year-old self advice about computer science, I would tell the younger me not to worry about people not believing in me. As a girl in CS, I was constantly put down by guys who thought I wasn't capable. I would tell myself to believe in myself and enjoy the process of CS and that even though it may be difficult - to embrace the unique aspects of learning new programming languages and using technology to make a positive impact.”
HOW HAS ADHWITA'S WORK CONTRIBUTED TO OR HARNESSED COMPUTER SCIENCE'S GOOD, NEUTRAL, AND NEGATIVE IMPACTS?
Ethical or Moral Impacts of Computing: “Through my online STEM nonprofit, I've grappled with whether I'm truly addressing educational inequalities or inadvertently exacerbating them. Initially, our platform offered free classes to everyone, but we observed that many students came from well-resourced districts, contrary to our mission of helping underserved communities. To rectify this, we refocused our efforts on specific communities through outreach and school partnerships, leveraging technology to bridge educational gaps despite initial challenges ultimately."
Good: Her nonprofit offers underserved students access to diverse computing education. It empowers over 300 students in hackathons and creative projects that enrich their lives and communities, highlighting computing's power for creativity and problem-solving.
Neutral: While online learning facilitates knowledge exchange, it presents a dual-edged sword with distractions and behavior management challenges in the virtual classroom.
Negative: The online nature of Inspire Curiosity's classes poses issues, including potential distractions and misuse of online chat features, emphasizing the need for responsible online education management.