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Digital Youth Divas: A Program Model for Increasing Knowledge, Confidence, and Perceptions of Fit in STEM amongst Black and Brown Middle School Girls

Digital Youth Divas: A Program Model for Increasing Knowledge, Confidence, and Perceptions of Fit in STEM amongst Black and Brown Middle School Girls
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Author(s): Sheena Erete (DePaul University, USA), Caitlin K. Martin (Digital Youth Network, USA) and Nichole Pinkard (DePaul University, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 22
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.ch008

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Abstract

Women use technology to mediate numerous aspects of their lives, yet women of color are grossly underrepresented in the fields of computer science and engineering. Decisions about participation in STEM are frequently made prior to high school, and these decisions are impacted by prior experience, confidence, and sense of fit with community. The Digital Youth Divas (DYD) is an out-of-school program that uses narrative stories to launch the creation of digital artifacts and support non-dominant middle school girls' STEM interests and identities through virtual and real-world community. This chapter describes the framework of the Digital Youth Divas program, which blends narratives with project-based design challenges in an informal learning environment. Results suggest that our narrative-centered, blended learning program increases non-dominant girls' knowledge, confidence, and sense of fit in STEM activities.

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