It was a small, yet auspicious kick-off for Teen Tech Girls today. Since there were so few of us, we decided to approach it as a “test drive” of the material I wanted to cover to see if it worked well as a way to tell the story of gender equity issues in computer science as well as encourage interaction and feedback. Seems like a success! Here are the highlights:
What’s the problem?:
- We looked at some data from the NCWIT scorecard & New Image for Computing. They were not surprised to learn about disinterest in computing fields for girls, but were a little surprised at the big dip for both genders over the last 10 years.
- I shared a traditional definition of computer science - it was not inspiring.
- I showed pictures by girls who were asked to draw a computer scientist - the pictures were not flattering. We talked about some of the stereotypes associated with computer science and we decided to add this drawing activity next time.
- We viewed the What IS a Dot Diva? & Girls in a Tech World videos - the girls loved them.
- I can’t recommend these videos enough as a way to open up the possibilities of computer science for girls.
Change the world:
- We talked about next steps. There was definitely interest in continuing the conversation and possibly starting a girls “club” to learn some new tech skills like creating iOS apps and website design & development.
- Of course, the start of summer offers its own challenges to build momentum, but I feel like this is a good start and the right course to continue on.
Many thanks Nilu, Lily & Dolly!