About project

According to the National Center for Education Statistics in the US, women just represent 18% of the university graduates in computer science. And, on top universities, this number falls to 14%. However, in 1985, 37% of computer science majors were female! This demonstrates that not only that there was no progress in achieving a higher participation of females in computer science but rather there was a steep decline.  On top, computer science was the only STEM field in which female participation has dropped. And the disparity between male and female participation continues at the professional level: 80% of top-level employees in Silicon Valley are male and only 10% of the technical positions are occupied by female. In Europe the situation is even worse as reported by the European Commission: “Of 1,000 women with a Bachelors or other first degree, only 29 hold a degree in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (as compared to 95 men), and only 4 in 1000 women will eventually work in the ICT sector”. These statistics are in striking contrast with the exploding demand for computer science graduates for fuelling the software services industries that deliver solutions for a wide range of needs in today’s and tomorrow’s technology immersed society.

CODING4GIRLS addresses the gap between male and female participation in computer science education and careers by introducing early methodological learning interventions that make computer science attractive to all. It  introduces interventions that target the factors that lead girls to not choose computer science, namely a) misperception of the roles and professional careers; and b) wrong assumption of insufficient skills. The main goal is to attract girls by raising their awareness on the rich possibilities for professional and personal growth that computer science offers and by preparing them for future engagement in computer science careers.

CODING4GIRLS introduces a design thinking pedagogical approach that is heavily linked to human-centred solutions. This approach challenges the learners to see the big picture before designing a detailed solution, encourages them to consider wider community interests, and challenges them to think entrepreneurially on how digital technologies can be used to address real-world problems.

CODING4GIRLS will validate the proposed learning framework through the design and development of awareness raising serious games in Slovenia, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria and Portugal. Learners will be encouraged to design and code games that address specific world needs or issues. A “low entry high ceiling approach” will allow learners to start with easy problems encouraging continued participation through more challenging tasks.