Getting girls into ICT/Computer Science
On average each year computer science departments in Higher Education across the UK receive less than 25% of their undergraduate degree scheme enrollments by females.
As a secondary school ICT Teacher, I had noticed that the uptake of ICT and Computer Science by teenage girls in higher education was limited, and that female students would opt for more creative and academic subjects like Art, Dance, or Humanities.
I wanted to develop a network of individuals who could inspire a new generation to take up more traditionally geeky subjects. The theory being that if students could see how creative some careers are that they would be more inspired.
Working with young people, I know how powerful YouTube can be in grabbing their attention and entertaining them, whilst informing them too. I make videos for my lessons and put them on youtube so that students can access them in and outside of school to aid their learning. So, I decided to set up The Geek Gurl Diaries.
They are a collection of video logs and interviews about inspirational women in the fields of computing, science, technology and engineering. They also include contributions from women in IT on different subjects.
The Million Dollar Question
I have already begun this project by creating the branding, website, and some video content. The British Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) and their subdivision Computing At School have also backed the idea of a blog based YouTube channel.
What I need to move forward with this project is equipment to improve the quality of the videos to make them more appealing to the target audience of teenage girls.
In particular I need video editing software, microphones, tripods, and headphones.
Money Isn't Everything
More importantly I require inspiring individuals, both male and female, to contribute ideas, videos and interviews to make this project a success. I need teachers to introduce the channel to their students. I need people to talk about this subject in order for us to change the stereotypes.
Thank you for taking the time to read about this project, and for donating to make a difference.
Wow... we only did it!
My huge thanks goes to Alex Bradbury, Rob Bishop and I suspect Liz Upton of the Raspberry Pi Foundation for tweeting about my little project. Also Jonathan May and everyone at Sponsorcraft for actively campaigning for me by sharing on facebook and twitter. Thanks to Paul Hallett for his encouragement and support in the early sponsorcraft days.
Thanks to everyone who has offered their support, cash, and friendly comments, it is most appreciated, you are ALL in my geek gurl massive.
I'm going to make a video of all the equipment and software I buy to improve this project, so keep an eye out on the YouTube Channel by subscribing.
It's not over yet! There are still three days...
Hey you! Yes you.... person who wants to help change the way computer science, engineering, and technology is perceived by teenagers and in particular by girls. Thank you for investing your time (by reading this, or watching the videos) your money (if you have already donated), and your support (through tweeting, retweeting, sharing and emailing). As it stands, I'm just over 60% funded. With 5 days left to raise the remaining £200 it might be a little tight, but I think we can do it.
I think it’s important to stress that this is a not for profit project that so far I’ve funded myself, buying hardware, software and anything else I’ve needed along the way. I’m hoping this project will give teenagers an opportunity that I never had, to have first hand access to content that will inspire them to have an interest in subject areas they may have dismissed before.
This funding will allow me to purchase hardware and video editing software to improve the quality of the videos that I am producing for the youtube channel, as the more professional the content is the more it will draw in the intended target audience of teenagers.
I’ve been busy creating ‘how to’ style videos on building computers, using a Raspberry Pi for the first time and creating vector graphics using open source software. I’ve continued to interview women working in tech and have an exciting opportunity to interview Maggie Philbin and a Google Android Developer in the next few months. I have also begun a series of monthly ‘On Air’ discussions with female computer science graduates and friends. The Geek Gurl Diaries Facebook page is also up and running with members of the target demographic joining daily which spurs me to create more great video content.
Please help me to continue to create videos to help highlight everything that is great about these subjects.
Please help me reach the £500 total this week by donating, asking a friend to donate, or asking a company to donate.
Thank you for your support,
Carrie Anne Philbin