YouTube series “Hyperlink” encourages young girls to study computers

The answer to the question whether shows, that your kids watch on YouTube, influences them has been answered.

Based on a new study released this month, young girls who have seen season one of YouTube Red’s original series Hyperlinked are now 11 percent more likely to be interested in computer science (CS) careers than viewers who have not watched Hyperlinked. 

Conducted by Thicket Labs, the evaluation study was commissioned by Google and measures the factors that influence girls to choose computer science through a predictive model.

The study focuses on the positive impact of Hyperlinked, a YouTube Red original series that shows a cool and diverse group of girls with sharp programming skills solving tech problems and everyday middle school issues.

Based on study findings, young girls who have seen season one of YouTube Red’s original series Hyperlinked are now 11 percent more likely to be interested in computer science careers than viewers who have not watched Hyperlinked.

Watching Hyperlinked is strongly associated with positive perceptions of the field of computer science and encouragement from friends — two of the four major factors that explain a young girl’s decision to pursue computer science.

“Because of the complex nature of a big decision like choosing a career, a predictive decision model can provide a more accurate measurement of a future choice,” said Deepthi Welaratna, Founder & CEO of Thicket Labs. “The impact of Hyperlinked on the perceptions of its viewers is multifaceted and gives a clear indication of how positive media portrayals of computer science careers and girls who code have the potential to reshape the tech industry in the future.”

“It’s crucial for us to work with subject matter experts and leverage various perspectives in order to break down stereotypes and allow underrepresented groups to see themselves reflected in mainstream media,” said Daraiha Greene from Google’s Computer Science Education in Media team. “We look forward to creating more favorable perceptions of CS across industries and demographics as we learn from this telling research and evaluation.”

“The positive messages reinforced throughout the series are resonating with the audience and it is our hope that anyone watching ‘Hyperlinked’ leaves inspired by the power of technology and the ways it can make a difference,” said Nadine Zylstra of YouTube Red Originals.

In 2017, YouTube Red launched Hyperlinked, a scripted original series about a group of five friends who come together to create their own website for girls by girls while dealing with typical tween issues involving friends and growing up.

The series, which stars tween music group L2M, aims to encourage coding among young girls by prominently featuring coding and tech activities among its storylines.

Today, women make up just 18% of CS degrees, down from 37% thirty years ago.1

Among young girls, encouragement from friends and family, exposure to computer science, self-perception, and perception of the field of computer science are leading factors for choosing computer science as a career.

Together, these four factors make up about 60 percent of the career decision.

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Charis McAwesome

Charis McAwesome is a social media client project manager to companies including Microsoft, Intel, Lenovo, Deloitte, banks and many more on behalf of Digivizer. By day, she provides digital strategy and big data analysis, by night she may provide news on the podcast & when she doesn't, makes up for it by writing articles instead.