Gender Diversity in CS
It’s no secret – we need more female computer scientists. More than establishing another intervention that is designed with the hope of motivating female interest in the field, our group is looking into the behavioral and scholarly traits of female students starting in middle school with the goal of providing recommendations and solutions that better emphasize abilities and belonging in the field for our potential female computer scientists.
On one side, the difficulty we face is that the interventions established to promote girls in computer science are often self-selective – girls need to “opt-in.” On the other hand, we have seen a significant decrease in girls’ confidence in applying computer science constructs between middle school and high school – a time period that is imperative to decisions related to degree paths and career selection. While the established interventions have been successful and have conducted amazing work, the girls participating have the confidence and interest to sign up for such projects. What about those girls whose confidence dropped? How can we better address their concerns and motivate them to push forward?
With this in mind, our current research has focused:
- Decoding specific behavior or performance traits that lead to the decrease in confidence in order to develop solutions for addressing these concerns.
- Utilizing our software aimed at the synergistic learning of computer science and STEM to motivate girls on the importance and usefulness of knowing how to code – and how that skillset can help most any career path they choose!
- Analyzing the use of collaboration in computer science education to engage future female computer scientists.