Gr8 Designs for Gr8 Girls
Gr8 Design for Gr8 girls is an event for young women to learn about the opportunities related to computer science and engineering.
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Name Your Entry
Gr8 Designs for Gr8 Girls
Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Growth (your pilot is up and running, and starting to expand)
How long have you been in operation?
Operating for 1‐5 years
Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
The enrollment of girls in computer science and computer engineering programs are very low. This is largely due to an almost complete lack of interest on the part of young women. When asked on a recent survey of Canadian Youth, 56% of the girls uninterested in computer science and engineering careers selected either “it seems boring” or “I don’t’ know anything about it”
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Gr8 Designs for Gr8 Girls is a one-day program designed to introduce either grade 8 girls to the discipline of computer science and associated careers. Attempting to appeal to the girls’ creative aspirations, the program focuses on design and creativity. By showing girls that computer science and engineering can be fun, creative, and rewarding, the hope is to ultimately increase the enrollment of women into these important fields and gain their valuable perspectives.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
The girls that come to Gr8 Designs for Gr8 Girls are immersed in one full day of programming geared towards getting them acquainted with computer science and engineering, and sparking their interest and confidence in those fields. The girls participate in three sessions where they learn introductory programming using the fun and interactive program “Alice in 3D Land”, use the Python programming language to create their own “Mad Libs” stories, and even build their own Morse Code circuit on a breadboard. They play games and do activities that focus on interesting aspects of computer hardware and software. One of the most important aspects of the day is learning from fun, interesting girls that are already either working or studying computer science and engineering.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
Currently there is no other university offering this program.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
The Gr8 Designs for Gr8 Girls program is an activity day created to change the image of computer science in the minds of young females. This was initiated as a result of low enrollment in Computing and Software across the country and the realization that this drop in enrollment was largely due to an almost complete lack of interest on the part of young women. Furthermore, when asked on a recent survey of Canadian youth, 56% of the girls uninterested in CS careers, selected either “it seems boring” or “don’t know anything about it” as their primary reason. Gr8 Designs is a one-day program designed to introduce eighth grade girls to the discipline of computer science and to associated careers.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
The goals of the program are to expose many young women to the science of computing and the community of women computer scientists for the purposes of increasing their interest in the field. Attempting to appeal to the girls’ creative aspirations, the program focuses on design and creativity. It also deliberately touches on a variety of aspects of the field touching each briefly rather than delving deeply into a single subfield. The specific girls who attend may not necessarily become computer scientists, although we would love to see that happen, but they will begin to see computer science as a career possibility. The program hopes to impact the broader societal opinion of CS careers by also influencing the teachers, parents and friends of the girls that attend.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.
Tell us about your partnerships
It is a priority to increase enrollment into the field, and raise the profile of Computing and Software in Canada and the world, particularly among young people - and young women, in particular. In light of national Computing and Software enrollment decline, we have been involved in activities that are outreach to the discipline in general and not specifically focused on recruiting to our own institution.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list