Raising Techie Girls – (Funded by NCWIT/Microsoft) This project is based on the notion that “it takes a village to raise a talent”. We need everyone including moms or other caregivers and teachers to raise techie girls. Recent studies have shown that parents are an untapped resource for encouraging children to pursue STEM studies and for countering the prevailing message that STEM is only for boys. To change this, parents can make a huge difference. What parents say or do can influence how their daughters see themselves and their ability to succeed in a STEM career. A Google study on what influences women to pursue computer science shows that simple encouragement from family members, particularly mothers, can drive a girl’s interest in STEM. Studies show that parents can instill in their daughters the self-confidence needed to rebound from a failure. But, many times parents do not know much about STEM, existing fields within STEM and the tools available which can be used to expose their daughters to the broader world of science and technology. But these girls get to see their teachers every day, hence those teachers have a responsibility to encourage STEM interest among girls by pushing them to take risks and go against stereotypes and by raising their confidence in their abilities. This project will engage parents/guardians alongside their 9th and 10th grader daughters and teachers in coding. This is part of an effort to in bringing STEM awareness to schools, homes and dinner conversations.
Empowering Florida Teachers – (Funded by Google CS4HS) A one-year project to Computer Science professional development opportunities for high school teachers. A teacher professional development workshop was held at the University of South Florida – Sarasota Manatee campus in summer 2017. This event was funded by Google Education and was specifically designed for high school teachers. The participants included teachers from Sarasota County schools. The program provided a deep dive into MIT App Inventor, the blocks-based programming system for Android devices. Teachers worked directly with App Inventor, developed several apps and learned approaches for including App Inventor into their curriculum.
Digispired I – (Funded by NSF) The project offered a 3-year program for 89 middle school students where they met two weeks during summer and 10 – 15 Saturdays during the year to learn about programming, computer graphics, and animation.
Digispired II – (Funded by NSF) This was a 3-year project as a follow up to Digisipred I serving 85 high school students. The program consisted of two weeks during the summer and eight to 10 Saturdays during the school year. During the three-year program, students learned the concepts that make controllers, joysticks, and dance pads work. The students learned computer programming language like C#, which helped them learn to use the game-developing software Unity. The program followed the students through the 11th grade to track the kind of impact it had in helping students select college courses, Advanced Placement courses — if offered at the high school — and advanced math or science courses.
Got STEM? – (Funded by PI Contributions) A project for female students interested in fashion design. We worked with middle school girls in several after-school programs to encourage them to design artifacts with Lilypad microcontrollers and program them with LEDs. The girls integrated Lilypad in scarves, bags, t-shirts, and caps. Findings showed that students who were involved in this project were significantly more positive about their attitude toward engineering and technology compared to girls who did not participate in the after-school program. We have also provided similar training to elementary and high school students using age-appropriate tools.
Girls Who Game – (Funded by PI Contributions) The workshop was in game creation teaching the middle school girls how to prototype and program games. The girls worked in teams and learned about the different layers of game design, created a 3-D environment, learned coding, developed characters and wrote storylines for games.
Attracting Computer Science Students: There’s an App for That – (Funded by NCWIT) A project designed for high school students which introduced students to App development.
Empowering High School Teachers with Computational Thinking Resources – (Funded by Google) A project which introduced computational thinking to high school teachers through board games.