Culturally Responsive Computing Camp: A culturally responsive camp for diverse middle school girls to learn computational knowledge and skills

Camp Description: The 10-hour camp curriculum for middle school girls introduces learners to foundational computing skills and knowledge, with an emphasis on agency in an increasingly technological world. Girls are positioned as technosocial change agents, as they program a virtual robot on a custom, block-based programming platform our team has built; critically discuss and analyze power, identity, and technology; and further engage in playful and emboldening learning and community-building activities. For more information, please reach out to me or take a look at some of our publications from this project on my research page.

Challenge Addressed: Computing is power, and computing literacy is increasingly important for youth. Middle school is an especially important time for leaners to develop STEM identity. However, many underserved youth learners are not centered in educational experiences, creating an opportunity gap in computational literacy. It is important to address this for a more inclusive and equitable technological future.

Goal: To create a culturally responsive computing education experience that emboldens diverse middle school girls as technosocial change agents

Context: Multi-university, NSF-funded AISL research grant collaboration over the past two years and ongoing. The camp has been run over 5 times with iterative changes in between.

Key contributions: Spearheaded creation and intensive iteration of culturally responsive computing curriculum, integrating power/identity with computing, creation of pre/post measures, codesign of social robot, designing and piloting playful programming and learning experiences, content creation, integration of research theory

Team members: Dr. Angela Stewart (Carnegie Mellon University), Prof. Amy Ogan (Carnegie Mellon University), Prof. Erin Walker (University of Pittsburgh), Amanda Buddemeyer (University of Pittsburgh), Prof. Kimberly Scott (Arizona State University), Dr. Tara Nkrumah (Arizona State University), and a number of wonderful undergraduate students from these universities

Pseudonymous snapshot from a virtually-run camp

Chat with the social robot, 'Symmi'