Secondary Education Meets Tertiary Education – a Concept how to Motivate Young People for Computer Science
Gerd Holweg, University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien (Austria)
Robert Pucher, University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien (Austria)
Fritz Schmöllebeck, University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien (Austria)
Marlies Ettl, Hertha Firnberg Schools for Business and Tourism, Vienna (Austria)
The stereotypical career choice of young people leads to typical female and male professions, resulting in a low rate of women in the MINT fields (Mathematics, Informatics, Natural science, Technical engineering - out of Europe MINT is better known as STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Especially Computer Science in Europe is dominated by men.
In 2010 a cooperation between the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien and the Hertha Firnberg Schools for Business and Tourism was started with the aim to motivate primarily girls for a career in computer science or science in general. In this cooperation secondary education meets tertiary education in a newly developed format. Pupils of this secondary school are prepared in a way which enables them to skip the first year of computer science at UASTW. This is possible as the Hertha Firnberg Schools for Business and Tourism has an additional year to the standard secondary education in Austria (details on the Austrian Educational System are published in http://www.bildungssystem.at/en/).
A lot of measures have been chosen in order to meet the expectations, like joint development of a curriculum for secondary education, joint teaching in critical subjects of Computer Science (academic teachers and school teachers side a side), use of laboratories at the UAS Technikum Wien and implementation of notebook classes as well as blended learning concepts. Once a week pupils are being taught in the rooms of the UAS Technikum Wien, they behave and feel like university students, use the university’s equipment in laboratories and get used to project work and scientific work. This way school pupils learn about academic behaviour at a very early stage. Gender & diversity is an integral part of the concept.
With over six years of experience – two classes have already finished the five years of the educational program – a lot about the concept’s advantages and disadvantages can be said. A presentation at the conference as well as an accompanying paper will describe the outcomes in more detail and report about things observed.