Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.1433.1 - 9.1433.13
You Can Be Anything – Women and Technology Video Claudia Morrell, Anne Spence, Taryn Bayles, Bill Shewbridge University of Maryland Baltimore County
All things are first apprehended in the senses. Dr. Maria Montessori
Computer software engineering is expected to be the fastest growing occupation through 2010 and computer hardware engineers are expected to have favorable job opportunities with strong expected growth.1,2 And while in 2004 the short-term market may still seem slow, in fact there are plenty of new developments that translate into bona fide opportunities for technology workers. 3 In the Baltimore-Washington region, there are still many technology jobs as well, including jobs with Internet companies, biotechnology research firms, and businesses supporting both the government and the military. 4 If Maryland or any other state is going to be successful and competitive economically, educational institutions need to recruit many more students into information technology and technology-related programs.
While some science, technology, engineering, and mathematics areas have seen increasing involvement of women in the last decade, this trend is less evident in the information technology (IT) disciplines.5 IT outreach efforts have not prompted increased enrollments in the coursework required to pursue an IT career, most notably the mathematically rigorous computer science curriculum. In 2002, the Advanced Placement (AP) assessment for computer science recorded the lowest female participation rate of any AP discipline, with girls accounting for only 10% of the test takers for the advanced exam.6 “In secondary schools across the nation, a repeated pattern plays out: a further increase in boys confidence, status, and expertise in computing and a decline in the interest and confidence of girls.”7 The multiple applications of technology that attract girls to their use do not seem to have the same effect on their interest in developing and designing technology as it does with boys.8 Part of the cause may be the powerful images and stereotypes that discourage girls from considering high-technology careers. One such stereotype associates computing with socially inept male geeks wearing broken glasses and pocket protectors who stare obsessively at their computer screens for twenty hours a day and care about little else. Compounding the problem, according to the AAUW’s report Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age9, is that girls rarely “see women in the media who are actively involved in computing,” making it even more difficult for girls to imagine themselves as computer or engineering professionals. The AAUW report recommends using popular girls’ media to promote real women doing work using computer technology.
Today, approximately three-quarters of all 12 to 19 year olds spend an average of six hours per week watching music videos.10 Visual media is the primary mode of communication for most
Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education
Morrell, C., & Bayles, T., & Spence, A. (2004, June), You Can Be Anything Women And Technology Video Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14002
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