Girls in Computer Science: a Female Only Introduction Class in High School




Drobnis, Ann W.

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This study examined the impact of an all girls’ classroom environment in a high school introductory computer science class on the student’s attitudes towards computer science and their thoughts on future involvement with computer science. It was determined that an all girls’ introductory class could impact the declining female enrollment and female students’ efficacy towards computer science. This research was conducted in a summer school program through a regional magnet school for science and technology which these students attend during the school year. Three different groupings of students were examined for the research: female students in an all girls’ class, female students in mixed-gender classes and male students in mixed-gender classes. A survey, Attitudes about Computers and Computer Science (ACCS), was designed to obtain an understanding of the students’ thoughts, preconceptions, attitude, knowledge of computer science, and future intentions around computer science, both in education and career. Students in all three groups were administered the ACCS prior to taking the class and upon completion of the class. In addition, students in the all girls’ class wrote in a journal throughout the course, and some of those students were also interviewed upon completion of the course. The data was analyzed using quantitative and qualitative techniques. While there were no major differences found in the quantitative data, it was determined that girls in the all girls’ class were truly excited by what they had learned and were more open to the idea of computer science being a part of their future.



Computer science, Females in computer science, High school computer science, All girls