TechGirlz Survey Finds Middle Schools Lack Technology Offerings for Girls
Philadelphia – As part of the run-up to Computer Science Education Week and in anticipation of the Hour of Code activities planned for next week, TechGirlz today shared insights from its annual survey of middle school girls’ insights and experiences with technology. The survey of more than 1,000 girls around the country found that girls increasingly feel encouraged to pursue technology instruction by parents, but that schools often do not provide ideal classroom offerings.
“Multiple studies show that we have a clear need for a greater number of more diverse technologists in America’s workforce,” said TechGirlz founder and CEO Tracey Welson-Rossman. “Engaging girls with compelling technology instruction sets them on a path towards a rewarding, empowering career in tech. Yet, our survey results show that schools are not getting the job done – girls are thirsty for more technology-related access and instruction in their classrooms.”
This third annual survey of girls polled their experience and impressions of TechGirlz courses, as well as their long-term career interests, where they most often encounter technology, and what types of technology instruction most interest them. Taken together, the results show an encouraging growth in technology interest but a gap in classroom-based learning opportunities.
Key findings include:
- Over 70% of girls said parents encouraged their use of technology;
- Girls indicated their preferred technology courses as, in order: multimedia, computer programming, and web design;
- Approximately half of those respondents said their schools did not offer those courses;
- Of those that did not take a technology class in school, 45% said it was because they were not offered while nearly 30% indicated they did not fit their schedule;
- Girls were most interested in pursuing careers in business, science or engineering.
Often hamstrung by state level requirements, budget shortfalls, and a lack of qualified technology instructors, schools frequently are at a disadvantage. However, school systems can begin by making technology instruction available to girls earlier in middle school, offering the types of courses girls prefer, and partnering with third party organizations that can support school efforts.
“Technology should not be a privilege,” continued Welson-Rossman. “But until states require and fund core technology courses, wholesale changes to school curricula will be challenging to implement. TechGirlz is committed to helping support both schools and girls by providing a compelling environment where they can love and learn about technology.”
To learn more about TechGirlz visit www.techgirlz.org.