A4 Conference proceedings

Reaching out for girls. Raising interest and self-efficacy in engineering with ‘girls only’ workshops at a technical university

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Naukkarinen Johanna, Ikonen Leena
Publication year: 2018
Language: English
Title of parent publication: Proceedings of the 46th Sefi Annual Conference 2018
Start page: 338
End page: 348
Number of pages: 11
ISBN: 978-2-87352-016-8
JUFO-Level of this publication: 0
Open Access: Open Access publication


The paper presents an outreach activity
targeted for elementary school girls to increase their interest and
self-efficacy in technology and engineering. The activity consisted of visits
to a technical university with two to four workshops on different science and
engineering topics per visit. Five visits in total were organised for different
girl groups during the year 2017 with 104 girls attending the activity.

The workshops were designed based on
previous experiences and research findings about relevant topics and formats of
activities. The workshops were made as interactive and practical as possible,
and the topics and activities were connected with the girls’ experience and
spheres of life. The visits were offered exclusively for girls to prohibit the
typical effect of boys on girls’ behaviour in situations of this kind.
Providing room for positive peer role models aimed at empowering girls by
generating shared experiences among participants.

The participants were asked to rate their
interest towards engineering/technology and their self-efficacy in engineering
subjects before and after the visit. They could also make open comments about
the workshops and the visit in general. The analysis revealed that the changes
in both perceived interest and perceived self-efficacy were positive and
statistically significant for the whole population and the smaller groups
although there were differences between the groups both in the magnitude and
significance of the change. Both quantitative and qualitative data seem to
verify the original design principles and assumptions on what makes an outreach
activity for girls interesting and efficient.

Last updated on 2019-13-03 at 12:00