Right on target with our goals at Wikid GRRLs, Stanford University President John Hennessy said at the recent Intel Capital annual summit that when it comes to women in science and technology: “our system is broken somewhere between middle school and high school.” He listed four barriers that need to be addressed:
- A lack of inspiration and role models for girls during puberty (girls do better than boys in elementary school in math and science)
- A dominance of gaming culture, and within it a prevalence of “killing” that he says is little attractive to girls
- An isolation effect for women being the only one or just one of few in a tough math or science class
- An image of computer science as a “lonely pursuit”
He suggested more inspiration, role models, and support networks as solutions for girls to develop and keep up an interest in math and science.
This is what Wikid GRRLs is set out to do with a creative writing approach. In a group of like-minded girl peers, students in middle and early high schools play in a sandbox wiki to learn online skills to contribute to knowledge projects. We offer them an introduction to simple coding, writing creatively to produce content that matters to them, and presenting their work on the computer confidently.
If you are interested in teaching our free, ready-to-go Wikid GRRLs curriculum in your school (or library or community center) e-mail Stine Eckert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on the story on Forbes, November 4, 2014.