AN INSPIRATIONAL Stirling High School teacher has been nominated as Secondary Teacher of the Year at the Scotland Women in Technology (SWiT) Awards.

Shona McAlpine, who teaches Computing Science, has been recognised for the passion and drive she has displayed to get girls actively engaged in technology studies.

Her efforts have seen the number of girls studying Computing Science at N5 level rise from 16 per cent to 43 per cent, and this year Stirling High will have their first ever Advanced Higher female candidate.

The Secondary Teacher of the Year category highlights those who have gone the extra mile to involve girls in technology and inspire them to study or start a career in the industry.

Shona has kickstarted numerous initiatives to inspire girls to embrace technology, including:

· Introducing the Cyber First competition to Stirling High which has seen more than 10 girl groups compete in the past two years.

· Introducing Digital Skills NPA to Stirling High School which has seen a high uptake.

· Introducing NPA in Cyber Security as a lunchtime club.

She has also helped introduce tech newcomers to Raspberry Pi, the go-to microcomputer for all ages and abilities starting out in the world of programming and electronic, by co-leading the Raspberry Pi Extra Curricular club, with involvement from industry and Stirling University.

Shona said: “There are great job opportunities for girls who have tech qualifications and I don't want to see them missing out. Computing Science is one part of the economy which is going to expand, not contract.

“It is very kind of people to have nominated me, but there are teachers throughout Scotland who are working to encourage girls into the tech subjects. I would like to thank the support Stirling High has given me in encouraging the next generation of women in tech. “

Convenor of the Children and Young People Committee, councillor Susan McGill, said: “Congratulations to Shona for this well-deserved recognition which highlights the fantastic effort she has put in to inspire girls to get involved in technology.

“Teachers play a crucial role in determining the future career paths of young people, and the work Shona has put in to show girls that there are great career opportunities in digital and IT has already begun to pay dividends with increased opportunities and participation by girls at Stirling High.”

SWiT is a non-profit organisation which seeks to put gender equality at the forefront of Scotland’s technology industry, and their awards celebrate those who are committed to furthering the role of women in this sector.