Mind the (Gender) gap: Can a two-hour visit to a hi-tech company change perceptions about computer science?

Larisa Eidelman, Orit Hazzan, Tami Lapidot, Yossi Matias, Daniela Raijman, Michal Segalov

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

This paper presents the "Mind the Gap" initiative that aims to encourage female high school pupils to study computer science (CS) in high school. This is achieved by increasing their awareness to what CS is, and exposing them to the essence of a hi-tech environment and to same gender role models. Female software engineers at Google's Israel R&D Center in collaboration with the Israeli National Center undertook the initiative for computer science teachers. We describe the initiative and its impact on the female pupils' interest in CS. One of our conclusions is that even a short visit to a hi-tech company, in this case - Google, has the potential to change pupils' perception of what CS is and to increase their interest in CS and their desire to study it. One could easily adapt this initiative to other companies and scale it to infl uence a rather large population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages64-70
Number of pages7
Volume2
No3
Specialist publicationACM Inroads
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Achievement-related choices
  • Computer science education
  • Culture
  • Gender
  • High school
  • Israel

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