Young Women in Computing

[While young women perform well in math and science at the elementary level, there’s a tendency to see a drop-off in middle and high school. In this TechCrunch article the author looks at reasons why young women tend to leave the STEM fields by high school. Here in Pittsburgh the Ellis School and South Fayette have taken leadership in giving young women opportunities to shine. At Ellis middle school girls can join the Tinker Squad and provide technology support not only at their school, but around the city. At South Fayette young woman at the middle school have discovered the Scratch computer language and are now pushing for more computational thinking opportunities at the high school.]

A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) took a comprehensive look at gender differences in student performance based on an exam taken by 15-year-olds.

The report found that, although girls often perform better than their male peers — staying in school longer and out-performing them in reading — the top-performing girls continue to lag behind top-performing boys in math and science. The survey report explores possible reasons behind this gap: Importantly, girls report having lower levels of confidence in their math abilities and experience higher levels of anxiety when performing math-related tasks than boys.

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