GETSMART: An Academic-Industry Partnership to Encourage Female Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Careers

GETSMART: An Academic-Industry Partnership to Encourage Female Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Careers

Natasha F. Veltri (The University of Tampa, USA), Harold W. Webb (The University of Tampa, USA) and Raymond Papp (The University of Tampa, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-657-5.ch003

Abstract

This chapter reports on the development a formal social mechanism for interaction among female IT role models, such as industry executives and recent college graduates, higher education IT academicians, and female middle school and high school students. The GETSMART (Getting Everyone To Study Math and Related Technologies) program is designed to address the national issue of low female participation in the computer science and information systems fields. The goal of this initiative is to create an innovative educational and mentoring program that encourages women to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The comments of the GETSMART participants serve as a feedback loop to the program executive and academic leaders and indicate the importance of teachers, parents, role models and early STEM experiences in formation of interest in STEM.
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Women In Science And Technology

Researchers and practitioners alike have long wondered why women are significantly underrepresented in STEM fields. Various reasons have been proposed that can be grouped into three main categories: differences in aptitude, discrimination, and personal choice (Rosenbloom, Ash, Dupont, & Coder, 2008). In the field of computing this has been a topic of concern for decades with a series of articles published in a special issue of the Communications of the ACM in 1995 (Snow, 1995; Klawe & Levenson, 1995) and a follow-up review article on progress to date in 2009 (Klawe, Whitney, & Simard, 2009).

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