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Presented at the National Association of Biology Teachers Role and Status of Women in Biology Education (RSWBE) Breakfast for 2001
PLEASE note: this web page was prepared for 2001 and it's now 2015! Links will be updated in the near future and new resources will be added.

Girls and New Technologies

Toby M Horn, Ph.D. biologist and computer user (programming borz me 2).

Girls tend to NOT like computers (at first). They associate computers with war games, boring typing and too many numbers. Many girls become interested in computers when they begin using them to communicate, e.g., using chat rooms and sending e-mail and now... txtng, twitter, snapchat etc. (2015)

Girls love biotechnology. It is (relatively) new for everyone and so girls do not perceive themselves at a gender/cultural disadvantage. Plus, the tools and processes involve detail and small objects, which are also attractive to girls.

Girls LIKE finding information and making connections, so bioinformatics is a great avenue for getting girls engaged.

Girls like imaging and web page design and so will learn content to build a web site.

Teachers must persevere in encouraging girls. Teachers are often the problem, subtly. Teachers must intervene in the boy-girl dynamics, and encourage collaborative teamwork (interdependence --- not separate roles for each member). Tell girls (and hesitant boys) ...

  • Yes, you can do it!
  • Look at the possibilities!
  • See how computers can help solve medical problems!
  • Please teach ME (the teacher) about ...

Establish partnerships (teams of 2) which work best to get girls engaged at a computer task. (can't find the reference! Jo Sanders?)

Middle and High Schools
  • Girltech http://www.girltech.com/
  • The Douglass Project at Rutgers University http://www-rci.rutgers.edu/~dougproj/ (Kim Zajack)
  • GirlsTech (Girls, Science, and Technology) http://girlstech.douglass.rutgers.edu/
  • AWSEM Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics http://www.awsem.org/
  • Girls' Computer Camp http://www.seas.upenn.edu:8080/~mercuri/mynewhome/Girlscamp/gc.html (web site URL may change. Look up "Rebecca Mercuri" to find this if the site goes away)
  • Girl Scout Institute in Science and Technology (not yet active. Get there via the Douglass Project web site)
  • Girls and Computers, Dr. Lanius at Rice GirlTECH http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/club/girls.html Getting girls interested in computer science
  • Colorado Department of Education http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdetech/et_girls.htm
  • Get education faculty engaged and trained in gender equity http://www.wri-edu.org/equity/temp.html (Jo Sanders' organization)
  • Luce Foundation Scientists-in-Residence http://www.hluce.org/3cblfm.html sponsors a variety of programs including visiting scientist programs
  • WISE
  • SWE
  • ACM/Women
  • 1995 MIT study on women and computer science, with recommendations http://www-eecs.mit.edu/AY94-95/announcements/13.html
  • Girls Technology Club ASU http://hedgehog.math.arizona.edu/~bridge/papers/girls_tech

Rice students' statement:
 "We are computer scientists. We wake up every morning in love with what we do. We love computer science because it exercises both our creative and our logical sides. Unfortunately, people often misconceive computer science as a dry and impersonal area requiring only technical skills. We would like to offer a contrary, insider's view of our field. Computer science is not only about logical thinking. It is true that computer systems (both hardware and software) work according to precise rules. However, these systems consist of many, many pieces; the challenge lies in building and combining them. Some of the pieces already exist, but it takes creativity to put them together. The pieces that don't exist must be designed, which requires innovation. Assembling the whole system needs teamwork. The process is as creative and human as writing poetry or composing music. But computer scientists also develop products that have an immediate, direct, positive impact on people and society, which is deeply gratifying. We feel that few other disciplines require the same, unique blend of creativity and insight with problem-solving skills. That's why we are computer scientists, and there's nothing else that we'd rather be."

Shriram Krishnamurthi and Kathi Fisler Computer Science Rice University

Evaluating web sites and web assignments:
  • Internet Classroom from the teacher program at GirlTECH'96 @ rice http://www.crpc.rice.edu/CRPC/GT/dawsonm/using2.htm
  • Web page usability and design features http://usability.gov/guidelines/
  • WebQuests http://www.esc20.net/etprojects/
  • A webquest ON evaluating web sites http://mciunix.mciu.k12.pa.us/~spjvweb/evalwebteach.html
  • College level http://www2.widener.edu/Wolfgram-Memorial-Library/webevaluation/examples.htm
  • Rubric (by J Pilgrim) http://edtech.sandi.net/rubric/
  • Rubric by Kathy Schrock http://kathyschrock.net/abceval/
Research on Girls and Technology

  • 1994 Sanders, Jo. Lifting the Barriers: 600 Strategies that Really Work to Increase Girls' Participation in Science, Mathematics and Computers, 1994. (Available from Jo Sanders Publications, P.O. Box 483, Port Washington, NY 11050.)
  • 1994 Melissa Koch http://www.technos.net/journal/volume3/3koch.htm
  • 1996 Building Their Future: Girls and Technology Education in Connecticut Suzanne Silverman and Alice M. Pritchard http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/jte-v7n2/silverman.jte-v7n2.html
  • 1999 Girls and Technology, Math Forum's Conference Within a Conference at the NCTM National Conference April 24, 1999 Cynthia Lanius http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/pres/cwac99.html
  • 2000 Why Girls Don't Compute Kendra Mayfield http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,35654,00.html
  • 2001National Coalition of Girls Schools http://www.ncgs.org/Pages/scitek.htm
  • 2001 Balancing the Equation, Girls in SMT http://www.ncrw.org/research/iqsci.htm

Practical Issues
  • Girls and Chemistry http://newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem99/chem99247.htm
  • Girls and Biology TIMSS http://timss.bc.edu/timss1999b/sciencebench_report/t99bscience_chap_4_4.html
  • Girls and Physics http://www.usyd.edu.au/wisenet/issue48/encourage.htm
  • Girls Can Succeed in Science, Linda Samuels

Other Resources
  • National Council for Research on Women http://www.ncrw.org/resources/Fund_sci_Resources.htm
  • The Scientist 15[13]:32, Jun. 25, 2001 PROFESSION Of Mentors, Women, and Men The rise of a star shines light on women's role in sciences By Paula Park http://www.the-scientist.com/yr2001/jun/prof1_010625.html
  • Land of Plenty, national report on diversity http://www.nsf.gov/od/cawmset/report/cawmset_report.pdf
  • Women's Adventures in Science, Joseph Henry Press

Life Sciences notables
  • Shirley Tilghman, President of Princeton, 2001
  • Susan Lindquist, Director of the Whitehead Institute, 2001
  • Maxine Singer, President of the Carnegie Institution of Washington

comments? suggestions? questions? mailto: tmh20009 at gmail dot com Toby M Horn, Ph.D.

available URL: https://sites.google.com/site/drtobysartnscience/drtobymore/equitystrategies