Only around 18-20% of engineering students are female worldwide. At UoA, this figure is around 26% currently. Globally, people tend to support one of two views, inherent physiological differences in gender and environmental/societal expectations and influence, to explain this gap. Which is correct isn’t the main concern here. Which we can alter to improve the situation is important.
Studies show that girls as young as 6 years old can start to question their own intelligence and are less likely to select activities perceived as being 'difficult'. They are less likely to be encouraged to take on technical subjects such as Maths and Physics at school which are fundamental to engineering programs at the university level.
This project aims to create an entertaining educational game that will make the player (both male and female) self-aware of implicit or explicit biases towards girls/women in tech/engineering, change misconceptions, and encourage a positive change in attitude.
Literature review will be conducted to identify successful measures and mechanisms to achieve the above aim as applicable in similar games or research studies about changing perceptions (about gender and ability or related issues). Findings will feed into the design criteria for the game. We will follow user-centred design and iterative and incremental development approaches.
Dr Hoda teaches games design in SOFTENG306 and leads the serious game design theme of the ‘developing in digital worlds’ project, an MBIE funded project in collaboration with the faculty of Education. She is passionate about both game design and the topic of this project, women in engineering.
This project is open to all students, both female and male.
* an understanding of the issues affecting perceptions about women in engineering
* an educational (serious) game to help raise awareness and change negative perceptions
Lab allocations have not been finalised