Try It, You'll Like It
It can make some folks a little uncomfortable to consciously recruit girls for computer or robotics activities, but did you know that teachers unconsciously are more encouraging to boys? And do you know how much it matters?
Creative is Inclusive
When shown the above photos, twice as many girls would prefer to build the creative robot, and twice as many boys would prefer to build the bare-metal robot. Yet, after actually building the creative robots, both boys and girls report equally high enjoyment, according to Dartmouth research. Read more about how creative projects are inclusive.
Exhibition instead of Competition
Robotics programs that culminate in an exhibition rather than a competition motivate a wider range of students, according to professors from MIT and Wellesley.
Friends Like Me
Once a woman walks into a computer science or engineering class, will she stay? One key to retention is a sense of belonging. And one key to a sense of belonging is the presence of at least a certain percentage of women students. What is that critical mass?
How These Findings Shape Our Projects
In alignment with the findings shown on this page, all Gizmo Garden projects:
- Incorporate creative expression
- Are non-competitive
- Provide 1:1 equipment
- Break stereotypes visually
- Include roughly 50/50 girls/boys
Decor Makes a Difference
Simple changes to this classroom's décor can make girls three times more likely to sign up for a computer science class in it. What changes would you make?
Girls enjoy robot building just as much as boys, but in mixed-gender teams, they don't get as much hands-on time. See what Dartmouth researchers learned.
Choose equipment that carries the least gender baggage and minimizes the intimidation of new students. Read how Carnegie Mellon faculty say prior experience is not predictive of computer science success.
Particularly as they get to high school, students are thinking about how they can do good in the world while earning a living. This video from UMaine highlights some of great work going on in engineering there. Click the button for videos from Maine employers of computer coders, data analysts, and electrical engineers.