2007 Systers Pass It On Award Winner
Give Yourself a GIFT: G(irls) I(n) F(uture) T(echnology)
This award will be used to attract more female students into enrolling in computer science courses. Norcross High School offers two computing classes which are primarily populated by males. The goal of these projects is to increase female enrollment in these classes through marketing strategies focused on female students and through modifications made to the classroom to make it more appealing to females. Both the marketing strategies and the classroom modifications will be based on research on the gender differences in technology education.
The purpose of the PIO application was to increase female enrollment in computer science classes at Norcross High School in Gwinnett County, GA. Norcross High School is located in a suburb of Atlanta with a student population that is 30% white, 30% African-American, 29% Hispanic, and 10% Asian/Other. Despite this ethnic diversity, the computer science classes are primarily male. Last year, there were two female students in the Visual Basic Programming class. This year, there are three females (all Hispanic) in Computer Programming (JAVA). The new Computing in the Modern World course, an overview of all areas of Computer Science and an introductory course, is 22% female. Another purpose is to encourage the female students in this course to progress into a computer programming or web design class.
This award will provide the funds to market these two courses more effectively in the school with posters and banners. The posters will include photos of girls in computer science classes, working individually and in groups. A mailing campaign will include a letter to ninth grade parents about the value of taking computing courses in high school and a brochure describing the courses and careers in computing. The brochure will have the GIFT theme and feature female students’ testimonials of their experience taking computer science courses.