June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Women in Engineering
11.666.1 - 11.666.22
Girls are IT
If more women are to be attracted to studies in science, math, engineering and technology, it stands to reason that active recruitment will be beneficial. Women who choose STEM studies choose such studies in spite of a variety of societal reasons for not making that choice. Society’s place for women in the agrarian social era was that of homemaker, mother, and helper around the farm. The woman was an extension of her husband; indeed, she was considered to be his possession4. In the industrial era, the woman’s place was still in the home, rearing children and taking care of the husband, except during wartime when women had to man the factories while there husbands were at war. Toffler9 described women in the super-industrial society as having the position of being able to do anything they want; however, he claimed that the messages that society communicates to girls still encourage domestic pursuits.
If women are to be represented in larger proportions in the STEM fields, society as a whole would be well-served to begin sending a different message to these girls, and educational institutions would likely be well-served by determining how to recruit women into these fields effectively.
This paper details a half-day recruitment event for middle-school girls, designed around the current best practices with respect to the recruitment of women into technical fields. The target audience for the event includes middle schools girls, together with one or more of their parents, their teachers, and their counselors. Attendance is limited by the number of computers available in a small to medium-sized laboratory (ideally 20 or less) so that attendees may receive individual attention. Each element of the recruitment event is designed for a specific purpose that aligns with a best practice to encourage more women to participate in STEM subjects.
The National Science Foundation awarded a four-year, $2,469,000 grant in 2004 to establish a Regional Center for Convergence Technology (CTC) in North Texas. The award was made to a group of three colleges: Collin County Community College as the lead institution, and Dallas County Colleges and Tarrant County College District as partners. Note that convergence technology for purposes of this grant includes networks supporting combined traffic of data, voice, video, and image. Recent surveys have indicated that demand for such technologists is growing because these sorts of networks are rapidly replacing the traditionally separate telecommunications and data networks within many large companies.
The predominant goal for the grant is preparing the workforce to handle the emerging area of converged networking through curriculum creation and reform, training faculty, and recruiting students into the field. Special emphasis is placed on attracting those populations not already well represented in information technology (IT) careers. The researcher for this paper is the Primary Investigator (PI) for the grant and is ultimately held responsible for achieving the goals set forth in the grant objectives. This paper focuses on the details of a recruitment event
Beheler, A. (2006, June), Girls Are It A Workshop For Recruiting Girls Into Information Technology Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/270
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