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Enhancing Participation in Computer Science among Girls of Color: An Examination of a Preparatory AP Computer Science Intervention

Enhancing Participation in Computer Science among Girls of Color: An Examination of a Preparatory AP Computer Science Intervention
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Author(s): Allison Scott (Kapor Center for Social Impact, USA), Alexis Martin (Level Playing Field Institute, USA) and Frieda McAlear (Level Playing Field Institute, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 23
Source title: Moving Students of Color from Consumers to Producers of Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Yolanda Rankin (Spelman College, USA) and Jakita Thomas (Auburn University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2005-4.ch004

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Abstract

To address disparities in computing among girls of color, this chapter examines the impact of a multi-year, out-of-school computer science intervention with n=108 female high school students of color. This rigorous and comprehensive 5-week computer science intervention designed within a culturally-relevant framework, demonstrated the following outcomes: 1) one exposure to the intervention demonstrated a significant impact on computer science knowledge, attitudes, and access to diverse peers/role models, 2) the impact of the intervention endured after a 9-month period, and 3) repeated-exposure to the intervention (2 sequential 5-week interventions) produced greater growth than just one summer. These findings suggest that short-term interventions can be impactful, and repeated exposure opportunities are needed to increase growth in knowledge, attitudes, and aspirations among girls of color in computing. This research provides preliminary data for a model for effective programming for girls of color in computer science and has implications for practitioners, researchers, and policymakers.

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