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Rural implementation of Girls’ Programming Network (GPN)

Clayton, S ORCID: 0000-0002-8091-8393, Hawkins, C and Brandsema, M ORCID: 0000-0002-1965-2047 2021 , 'Rural implementation of Girls’ Programming Network (GPN)' , Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, vol. 31, no. 2 , pp. 38-45 .

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A small-scale pilot study was conducted in north-west Tasmania to investigate adolescent girls’willingness to participate in informal STEM education, through exploring their perceptions andexperiences of computer science (CS), and their future aspirations. This pilot study was fundedby an Inspiring Australia Public Science Event Grant, enabling the delivery of two local Girls’Programming Network (GPN) workshops by the two Sydney-based GPN co-founders. The aim ofthis case study was to determine the viability of establishing an ongoing and sustainable northwest Tasmanian GPN, which would provide rural adolescent girls with opportunities to exploreprogramming, connect them with mentors and role models, and show them what potentialcareer opportunities exist beyond family and local contexts. Qualitative methods of datacollection comprised focus group interviews and artefact elicitation with the participants, andindividual interviews with the program co-founders. The results indicate that single-sex informalCS education opportunities are valued by adolescent girls, and that typical gender stereotypescan be changed due to the experience of engaging in them. The success of the pilot studyindicates that establishing the GPN in a rural area to provide adolescent girls with free and fun CSexperiences is worthwhile and viable.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Clayton, S and Hawkins, C and Brandsema, M
Keywords: STEM outreach and engagement, female, computer science, programming and coding; adolescent
Journal or Publication Title: Australian and International Journal of Rural Education
Publisher: Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia
ISSN: 1839-7387
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Copyright 2021 AIJRE

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