Ada Scotland Festival: welcoming young women into computing

2 November 2020

By Ella Taylor-Smith, Edinburgh Napier University


The Ada Scotland Festival grew out of a SICSA-sponsored workshop, Addressing Gender Imbalance in Computing Science Education, organised by Dr Matthew Barr (University of Glasgow).

From this workshop, a core collaboration* emerged to create an online Festival which would:

  • welcome girls and women into computing/ tech (and address gender imbalance);
  • and start to build network of groups and organisations (partners) working in this area in Scotland.

Here it is:

Live events

Over Ada Lovelace week (13th to 20th October) the Festival and its partners hosted 14 live events:

  • Inspirational women talked about their careers in tech, and the history and future of women working in computing;
  • Interactive workshops introduced girls to creating video games and Minecraft worlds, and building their own crucial confidence;
  • Computing students and Graduate Apprentices answered questions about their work and courses.

Most of the live events were recorded and can be watched on the website.

Activities and resources

In parallel, over 30 partners created a wealth of resources and activities that can be accessed at any time, throughout the year, including:

  • Competitions – and ✨prizes✨ – for girls and women (currently: Cyber Security Challenges for primary and secondary, video competition, and the YES Digital Enterprise Challenge);
  • and videos about career paths and day-to-day jobs in tech, which provide a fascinating snapshot of contemporary jobs in digital and the diverse women that rock them.

We have been in the news

What next?

Well, we hope that the resources are useful and fun, for you, your students, and children. We think this is the beginning of Ada Scotland Festival, not the end.

Thanks to SICSA and our other sponsors (so far).

*Collaboration: Ada. Scot core team: Matt Barr and Anna Doyle (University of Glasgow), Toni Scullion (Computing Science teacher and founder of dressCode), and Ella Taylor-Smith (Edinburgh Napier University).





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