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Connections at the Family Level: Supporting Parents and Caring Adults to Engage Youth in Learning about Computers and Technology

Connections at the Family Level: Supporting Parents and Caring Adults to Engage Youth in Learning about Computers and Technology
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Author(s): Caitlin K. Martin (Digital Youth Network, USA), Nichole Pinkard (DePaul University, USA), Sheena Erete (DePaul University, USA) and Jim Sandherr (Digital Youth Network, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 25
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.ch011

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Abstract

We discuss the multiple roles played by parents and other caring adults in the homes of young STEM learners, highlighting existing knowledge and connections as well as desired supports. We report on a series of workshops for parents and other caring adults, held in conjunction with a 20-week computational making program for middle school girls from underrepresented communities. The workshops accomplish three tasks: 1. build a community of participants who engage in collaborative work and share best practices, resources, and knowledge; 2. introduce a framework of roles to ground what participants do to support the girls' STEM learning; and 3. engage participants in technical design processes as they work through projects similar to those completed by the middle school girls in the program. We share insights and challenges that emerged from our analysis of these workshops, and present ideas for refinement and adaptation of our workshop model based upon lessons learned.

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