About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 10034-10041
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.2406

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

ENCOURAGING GIRLS TO STUDY COMPUTER SCIENCE IN HIGH SCHOOL

D. Zohar, E. Zur, T. Benaya

The Open University of Israel (ISRAEL)
The CS Gender Issue:
The shortage of women in CS studies and in the hi-tech world is a fact in many western countries. The percentage of women earning a bachelor’s degree in CS in the US fell from 37% in the mid-1980s to 18% in 2012. Also in high school, in the US and in Israel, only 32% of the students who select to study CS are female.

Encouraging Girls to Select CS in High School:
During the year of 2014/15, some projects were established in Israeli junior high schools in order to encourage female students to select CS as a subject to study in depth in high school. The projects included:
• Mehamemet Project – A one day workshop which teaches Android application development and also includes a panel of expert female computer scientist both from the academia and high-tech industry.
• Mind the Gap Project – The project was developed by a group of Google female computer scientists. Each participating school is assigned two mentors who accompany the CS teacher in promoting special activities in the school. The purpose of the activities is to encourage the girls to select CS as subject to study in depth. In addition, the girls are invited to Google for a one day visit including lectures and panels run by female Google computer scientists.
• She Codes Organization – The aim of this organization is to increase within a decade the number of female high-tech developers to 50%. This is done by encouraging girls to select CS as a subject to study in depth. The girls have weekly meeting in branches located around the country. The meetings are run by female computer scientists who help them with CS homework and they also include lectures regarding new technologies, new programming languages and computer entrepreneur-ship.
• Gender Oriented Teacher Training Workshop – The workshop provides tools for encouraging girls to select CS as a subject to study in depth. The workshop includes lectures, visits to high-tech companies, meetings and a panel with successful CS female scientists.
• Parent Teacher Meetings – Special parent teacher meetings take place. They include a lecture concerning the importance for girls to choose CS in high school and a movie where past CS female students tell about the advantages of studying CS in high school.

The effort resulted in an increase in the percentage of girls who chose to study CS in depth. In the following year, an "All girls" class was created in order to check whether this separation will encourage more girls to select to major in CS.

We conducted two questionnaires (in the beginning of the year and in the second semester) in order to check the effect of the separation.
The full paper displays a summary of the girls' answers to the questionnaires and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of this separation.
@InProceedings{ZOHAR2017ENC,
author = {Zohar, D. and Zur, E. and Benaya, T.},
title = {ENCOURAGING GIRLS TO STUDY COMPUTER SCIENCE IN HIGH SCHOOL},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.2406},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.2406},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {10034-10041}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Zohar AU - E. Zur AU - T. Benaya
TI - ENCOURAGING GIRLS TO STUDY COMPUTER SCIENCE IN HIGH SCHOOL
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.2406
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 10034
EP - 10041
ER -
D. Zohar, E. Zur, T. Benaya (2017) ENCOURAGING GIRLS TO STUDY COMPUTER SCIENCE IN HIGH SCHOOL, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 10034-10041.
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