Creating an application to incentivise young women into considering careers in STEM

Billie O'Brien


Supervised by Kathryn Jones; Moderated by Yulia Cherdantseva

Having pursued an education within STEM it is very apparent that there is a huge lack of female participation in the field, particularly within Computer Science. There are many reasons for this including deeply ingrained traditional norms and stereotypes instilled from an early age, that cause women to be less supported in the field and fear participation. Finding a way to close this gender gap is essential to ensure diversity and equal opportunities for all genders in computer science and enabling ongoing innovation in the field.

I would like to address this problem by creating an application to incentivise girls to consider an education in STEM. High school tends to be where girls begin to become less interested in Computer Science due to factors like lack of encouragement, opportunities, social norms and low levels of role models. I would like to address these issues by creating a game / mentorship platform giving young girls role models, encouragement and opportunities showing them they can break the norm and pursue an education in Computer Science .

My plan would be to create an application to teach girls about specific areas of Computer Science in the form of a game. The basis of the game would involve moving to different stages to learn about different Computing aspects, following varying paths according to their interests. Once they had made a certain amount of progress they would assigned a mentor who would be specialised to their interests, give them help and answer questions. This will incentivise girls to keep learning in order to receive a mentor but will also give them an opportunity to have a role model in the industry showing them social norms can be broken, whilst teaching them core computing concepts.

Initial Plan (06/02/2023) [Zip Archive]

Final Report (19/05/2023) [Zip Archive]

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