School tie as Kerry and Stephanie share Scottish 'IT Girl' title
Kerry Giblin from Broughty Ferry and Stephanie Parkes from Milngavie scored identical highest marks in this year's Advanced Higher Computing examination and will now represent Scotland in the final of the 'A' Star Awards - the competition to find the UK's best female computing students.
The former Monifieth High School and Douglas Academy pupils received their prizes from Deputy Education Minister Nicol Stephen at a reception in their honor in Edinburgh on Tuesday 10 September. Each wins £125, a game cube and the 'A' Star trophy.
The Awards, organized by Edinburgh-based international software firm Axios Systems, are aimed at attracting more girls to take up careers in IT and redress a serious skills shortage in the industry. The co-sponsors are Ford Motor Company and Accenture, the world's leading management and technology services organization.
Fewer than one-quarter of UK computing professionals - and under 10% of programmers - are women.
In the final, to be held over the Internet, Kerry and Stephanie will compete against 10 other girls from England, Northern Ireland and Wales who scored highest marks in 'A' Level Computing. The top prizes, which will be presented in November in Manchester, will include cash, a laptop computer and an all-expenses-paid trip to the USA.
Underlining the problems in persuading girls to follow careers in IT, neither of Scotland's finalists is going on to study computing. Kerry (of Marlee Place, Broughty Ferry) has enrolled at Exeter University to read medicine while Stephanie (of Crawford Road, Milngavie) will study chemistry at Edinburgh University.
The Deputy Education Minister, who has responsibility for qualifications, also presented certificates to eight other girls who scored the next best results in this year's Advanced Higher Computing exam:
Morag Mansley (Webster's High School, Kirriemuir)
Angela Morrison (Webster's High School, Kirriemuir)
Lauren Neal (Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen)
Karen Hamilton (Queen Margaret Academy, Ayr)
Nicola Clark (Queen Margaret Academy, Ayr)
Angela Duncan (Lawside Academy, Dundee)
Jennifer McCrae (Penicuik High School, Midlothian)
Pamela Shiell (Airdrie Academy)-------------------------