"Girls choose technology" is a project carried out by the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. It supports schools in inspiring girls to choose so-called "MINT" subjects in school (MINT stands for mathematics, computer sciences, natural sciences and technology).
As part of the project, teachers of all types of schools are encouraged to develop and implement new ideas for teaching these subjects.
The project is an offer especially for girls. Its goal is to make girls become less sceptical with regard to mathematics and natural sciences and to help them discover their interest in and talent for MINT professions instead.
"Girls choose technology" officially started at the beginning of 2010 and will end on December 31, 2012. During this time period, the teaching projects can be implemented. Participation is possible at the beginning of the semester; interested teachers can register at any time.
The project was initiated because girls still concentrate on "girls' professions" as career choice - they choose professions such as clerk, hairdresser or sales assistant even though the MINT professions in particular offer good career perspectives for girls.
Since Germany will be confronted with a lack of skilled workers in the near future, it can no longer do without the potential of girls and young women. They will be introduced to the MINT world through various projects and inspired to consider these professions because even girls who are interested in MINT subjects and get high marks in school often do not have the heart to actually decide on a traditional male profession.
Schools can apply for participation by handing in a project idea for the MINT subjects to the Project Management Agency. After a thorough examination, the respective school will receive 500 Euro as start bonus to cover necessary acquisitions and material needed for the project.
First of all, teachers will be trained in order to be able to act as multipliers in schools and to develop and carry out MINT project ideas to encourage girls and young women. During the project period, girls also get the chance to specialise and be trained in so-called "girls technology camps".
As highlight, every year the best projects will be reviewed by a jury and awarded the "girls technology prize". They receive a total of 5,000 Euros as financial reward. Six out of 27 nominated projects received the award in the first year.
Girls choose technology
Source: bildungsserver.de, revised by iMOVE, May 2011