Hi everyone! ☺
My professional resource is a PDF document that aims to provide information about issues relating to the decline of female participation in STEM subjects. It also serves as a promotional product through its provision of information about the online coding program that we are designing for girls in upper-primary year levels. As we run our programs for students in schools across Queensland, my resource is targeted mainly towards school principals along with other decision makers (eg. HOD’s, HOC’s etc.) that enrol students in our programs.
Here is a “dot-pointed” summary of what my resource includes:
• Information about Australia’s future employment expectations and the need for students to participate in STEM subjects where they can learn how to ‘code’.
• Information about the main causes behind the decline of female participation in STEM subjects with statements made by educational researchers about each of the identified causes.
• An infographic page that presents statistical data relating to inequality issues with girls in STEM.
• A link to a website which promotes success stories of young Australian girls that have utilised technology to promote their own ‘entrepreneurial’ ideas.
• Links to educational literature with useful information about issues relating to girls in STEM and female engagement.
• An introduction to the girls’ online coding program with information stating how it aligns with the Australian curriculum.
• A summary of the main aims behind the program. These aims focus on attending to the identified problems associated with female engagement in STEM subjects.
• Information about the implementation of Gamification in the program and how this implementation can attend to the needs and interests of girls.
• A program outline and lesson breakdown to provide more specific information about the program’s lessons and activities.
• A contact information page for audiences that would like to find out more about the program.
If any of you are interested in this topic and looking for new ways to engage girls in STEM subjects (particularly with technology), I’ve added a link below to the Tech Girls Movement website. This organisation has done some fantastic work over the past couple of years to promote positive role models and STEM careers to girls. There are also some great stories about girls across Australia that have become engaged in technology when participating in their annual “Tech Girl Super Hero” challenge. I’ve added the link to this page as well. ☺
I’m really looking forward to seeing what the rest of you have done with your resources. Good luck with all of your future studies!
My name is Angela Matthews. I am an online teacher and have almost finished completing my Master of Digital Design. I am employed at the IMPACT Centre at the Brisbane School of Distance Education where we design and deliver a variety of online extension programs to schools across Queensland. Here is our website link for anyone that is interested to see what we do in more detail:
Over the next few months, I will be involved in the development of a new online coding program for upper-primary girls. For my research assignment, I decided to examine the under-representation of women in computing industries and explored ways in which new coding programs could be effectively designed to increase and maintain girls’ participation in computer science studies.
My research found that gender inequalities in modern computing industries have existed since the 1980s. While the gender gaps that still exist continue to contribute to a range of social issues, they are also generating economical concerns because industries over the next 10-15 years will require a much higher number of employees with computer programming skills.
With consideration towards these problems and further investigations about the ways in which girls learn most effectively, I found that online coding programs designed specifically for girls would maintain their interests more than gender-neutral coding programs.
My research also highlighted the importance of exposing girls to successful female role models and the diverse range of career paths that computer science studies could lead them towards. In addition to this, I discovered that the implementation of gamification methods would help to engage girls by enabling them to make more of their own choices about their learning when working towards their own individual goals.
While these ideas do appear to have the potential to increase and maintain female participation in computer science studies, the level of success that they bring would need to be measured through trialling and ongoing research. If anyone would like to know more about these topics, the articles listed below provide some good information.
Foundation for Young Australians. (2015). The new work order: Ensuring young Australians have skills and experience for jobs of the future, not the past.
Roberts, K. (2014). Engaging more women and girls in mathematics and STEM fields: The international evidence.
Zagami, J., Boden, M., Keane, T., Moreton, B., & Schulz, K. (2015). Girls and computing: Female participation in computing in schools.
Thanks for reading my entry. I look forward to seeing what the rest of you have been working on.