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Computer buffs

Pupils from the Glasgow area have swept the board in this year's Scottish girls' computing awards, taking top places in Advanced Higher and Standard grade exams.

Scotland's representatives in the UK finals of the Axios "A" Star awards, to be held on November 16, are from Jordanhill School, Kelvinside Academy, Fernhill School in Rutherglen and Douglas Academy in Milngavie.

Helen Foster, 17, of Jordanhill School, achieved the highest score by a girl sitting the SQA's Advanced Higher computing exam. The runner-up was Christine Wheeler, 18, of Kelvinside Academy.

For the first time the competition has been extended to include results in Standard grade computing studies as well. The Standard grade champion is Nina Gammage, of Fernhill School, followed by Jennifer Clark of Douglas Academy.

The awards, organised by the Edinburgh-based software firm Axios Systems, are designed to encourage more girls to take up careers in information technology and redress a gender imbalance. Now in their fourth year, they are co-sponsored by Accenture, IBM and Microsoft.

The girls will represent Scotland against counterparts from England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The finals will take the form of tie-breakers over the internet, judged by a panel of experts including the chief executive of the British Computer Society.

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