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Award Abstract #0833773

COMPUGIRLS: A Culturally Relevant Technology Program for Girls

Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
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Initial Amendment Date: September 19, 2008
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Latest Amendment Date: December 23, 2009
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Award Number: 0833773
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Jolene K. Jesse
DRL Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
EHR Directorate for Education & Human Resources
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Start Date: September 15, 2008
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End Date: June 30, 2013 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $879,425.00
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Investigator(s): Kimberly Scott kimberly.a.scott@asu.edu (Principal Investigator)
Elisabeth Gee (Co-Principal Investigator)
Sethuraman Panchanathan (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jenefer Husman (Co-Principal Investigator)
Gregory Aist (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Arizona State University
TEMPE, AZ 85281-6011 (480)965-5479
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NSF Program(s): ITEST
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Program Reference Code(s): 9177, SMET, 9180, 9251
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Program Element Code(s): 7227


Arizona State University (ASU) in collaboration with Phoenix Union High School District, Scottsdale Union High School District, Roosevelt District, Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley-Sacaton, Intel, Applied Learning Technologies Institute, Dynamic Educational Leadership for Teachers and Administrators (D.E.L.T.A.), ASU's School of Computing & Informatics, ASU's Video Game Design Camp, and Arizona Council of Black Engineers and Scientists Computer Camp (ACBES), are conducting a culturally relevant multimedia program strategy, COMPUGIRLS. Drawing on three well-documented frameworks, Culturally Relevant Pedagogical practices (CRP), Social Justice Youth Development Framework, and Future Time Perspective, this after-school and summer program fosters in IT/STEM related outcomes for 100 adolescent (grades 8-12) girls from several Phoenix high needs districts and schools. COMPUGIRLS takes place at two sites, ASU and the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley-Sacaton. Already, 40 girls have completed one-year of the program. This project expands the program to include another 60 students, their parents, ASU graduate students and in-service teachers, and peer mentors. COMPUGIRLS provides hands-on technology experiences that include internships, Advanced Placement credit, conference and community presentations, and parent workshops that will ultimately develop participants' techno-social analytic skills for real world problems.

As part of their experience, students visit ASU. For many, this is the first time they have been on a college campus. Students participate in 6 multimedia courses: 1) social justice and the media, 2) SCRATCH, user-friendly computer programming, 3) modding SIMS, designing, modifying, and troubleshooting simplified simulations, 4) choice of 3-D, programming, and character design, 5) advanced choice of 3-D, programming, and character design, and 6) teamwork to create neighborhoods in Sim City using all skills learned. Participants' projects will be disseminated semi-annually through community ceremonies, web pages, and presentations.

The project builds upon a pilot program (Summer 2007 to present) that accommodated 40 girls from under-resourced districts in the Phoenix metro area. The COMPUGIRLS program is a two-year curriculum using multimedia activities as a means of encouraging computational thinking. The project advances understanding of how to encourage girls (including girls from underrepresented groups) to pursue ICT fields. It builds upon established research and includes evaluation of the impact on participants' computational thinking, techno-social analytical skills, attitudes about and interest in pursuing further education and careers in ICT/STEM fields. The goals are:

1) To use multimedia activities as a means of encouraging computational thinking;

2) To enhance girls' techno-social analytical skills; and

3) To provide the building blocks for Arizona girls from underrepresented groups to successfully traverse an ICT and/or any work force roadmap.

The evaluation of the project consists of a mixed-methods approach (qualitative and quantitative), incorporating the use of survey instruments, student journals, focus groups, interviews, document review, observation and an intensive case study. A comparison/control group is incorporated into the pre- and post-test design to determine the extent the participants' skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors changed relative to where they would have been without participation in the project.


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Scott, K.A., Aist, G., & Hood, D.. "CompuGirls: designing a Culturally Relevant Technology Program," Educational Technology, v.XLIX, 2009, p. 34.

Scott, K.A. & White, M. "COMPUGIRLS? Standpoint: Culturally responsive computing and its effect on girls of color.," Urban Education, v.48, 2013.

Scott, K.A., Aist, G., Hood, D. "COMPUGIRLS: Designing a culturally relevant technology program.," Educational Technology, v.6, 2009.


Scott, K.A.. "The New Digital Divide: Where are Our Girls?", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010, "http://www.niusileadscape.org/bl/?cat=55",  2009, "http://www.niusileadscape.org/bl/?cat=55".

Scott, K.A.. "The New Digital Divide: Where are Our Girls?", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011, "http://www.niusileadscape.org/bl/?cat=55",  2009, "http://www.niusileadscape.org/bl/?cat=55".

Scott, K.A.. "The New Digital Divide: Where are Our Girls?", 09/01/2011-08/31/2012, "http://www.niusileadscape.org/bl/?cat=55",  2009, "http://www.niusileadscape.org/bl/?cat=55".


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