“I feel that I now understand more about how computing can do so much!”
With the percentage of female students studying computer science and entering the tech industry in the UK still below 20%, a group of second year undergraduate students from Imperial College London took matters into their own hands to help inspire the next generation of female computer scientists. Visiting an all-girls school in Epsom, students from the Department of Computing delivered a presentation to year 8 pupils to show them the range of opportunities and careers computer science can offer.
“It was beneficial for students to hear of the different areas studied and the university student's plans for the future” School Teacher
Supported by teaching staff and researchers from Imperial’s Department of Computing, students facilitated a question and answer session for the young attendees, where the girls had the opportunity to get to know the students more, asking questions like ‘when did you know you wanted to study computing?’, ‘how did you get into it?’ and ‘is it hard?’
A general misconception is that to study Computing at University you must have experience of coding – achieving a GCSE, A-level or similar qualification in computer science beforehand. “I hadn’t done any programming before I came to university,” said one of the students in their presentation to the school pupils, “if you are good at maths then you can easily learn to code!”
The students hope their visit will inspire more girls and give them the confidence to choose Computing as one of their options at school or college.
“The talks were very interesting”, “I found out new careers in computer science I could take up”. Pupil
88% of pupils who attended the event and gave feedback found it to be enjoyable, with 75% saying their awareness of Computing education and/or career pathways had changed.
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Ahmed Abdullahi Idle
Department of Computing