Can a 2-hour Visit to a Hi-Tech Company Increase Interest in and Change
Perceptions about Computer Science?
Abstract: This paper presents the "Mind the Gap" initiative that aims
to encourage female high school pupils to study computer science (CS) in high school.
This is achieved by increasing their awareness to what CS is, and exposing them to the
essence of a hi-tech environment and to same gender role models. The initiative was
undertaken by female software engineers at Google's Israel R&D Center in
collaboration with the Israeli National Center for Computer Science Teachers. We
describe the initiative and its impact on the female pupils' interest in CS. One of our
conclusions is that even a short visit to a hi-tech company, in this case – Google, has
the potential to change pupils' perception of what CS is and to increase their interest
in CS and their desire to study it. Our initiative can be easily adapted by other
companies and can be scaled to impact a rather large population.