1. Sapna Cheryan
  2. Associate Professor
  4. University of Washington
  1. Allison Master
  2. http://staff.washington.edu/almaster/cv.html
  3. Research Scientist
  5. University of Washington
  1. Terrence Pope
  2. Graduate Student
  4. University of Washington
  1. Kristi Yamamoto
  2. Stereotypes Identity and belonging lab
  4. University of Washington

NSF CAREER: Transforming the image of computing to increase female participat...

NSF Awards: 0845110

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

Current perceptions of computer scientists as “computer nerds” deter many women and girls from considering a future in computer science (Cheryan et al., 2009). However, redesigning computer science classrooms and companies motivates high school girls to express more interest in learning computer science without dissuading boys. Girls who see an introductory computer science classroom with objects stereotypically associated with the field (e.g., Star Trek posters, video games) express less interest in taking the course than girls who see the same classroom with non-stereotypical objects (e.g., art posters, water bottles). Broadening the image of male-dominated fields – for instance, by creating inclusive physical environments – is a promising way to communicate a new image of computer science and increase girls’ interest in pursuing the field.

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