Teaching control technology to girls

2006-05-09T09:40:07Z (GMT) by R.A. Sparkes
The reluctance of girls to undertake technical subjects is well known and various initiatives have been tried (e.g. WISE, GIST) to improve the proportion of females studying technology. One common theme of all the `solutions' proposed so far has been the need to link technology with its social implications - to give it a human face. On this assumption, a project has been started in a local secondary school with 11/12 year old girls to see if their interest in technology can be aroused. One aspect of this has been the development of a common approach to electronic control and control programming that lays emphasis upon the design of useful applications. Although only in its initial stages, this approach does seem to be effective in arousing and sustaining interest. The paper describes the approach taken and discusses the initial results from its use.