Engaging K-12 Students Essential forReducing Gender Gap in Computer Science Education
Abstract: A strong gender disparity exists within the computer science (CS) field, and this imbalance stretches from the professional domain down to the educational level. In a 2013 study (Venkataraman et. al 2013), students (n = 127) of a northeastern STEM high school were surveyed. Responses were collected and analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis statistical test (P < 0.05) to mitigate unequal cell sizes. Results suggest that females face barriers to entering CS including differences in perception, interests, confidence, and experiences. In a follow up study (2014), second grade students of a STEM lower school were surveyed. Results point to similarities in the attitudes of second grade boys and girls; these results contrast the difference in attitudes found among high school boys and girls. Significant differences were found between second grade students and ninth grade students, suggesting that a transition occurs between second and ninth grade where males’ and females’ perception of CS change.