March 21, 2016
Technology, computing in particular, sorely needs race-gender diversity. Despite research that suggests some girls of color (e.g. Latina, African American, and Native American) are quite interested in this lucrative and relatively stable field(s), those female youngsters who do become computer literate and attain the necessary credentials to become technological innovators and/or computer scientists rarely persist and enter such workforces. In this presentation, Scott will discuss how one program from the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (CGEST)--COMPUGIRLS--assumes a different, culturally responsive approach to address this issue. Drawing on a chapter from her upcoming University of Illinois published manuscript, how understudied, diverse girls developed intersecting identities and established a complex girl-centered space while navigating COMPUGIRLS’ unique context. Presented through a series of case studies, concepts from critical feminist theory, girlhood studies, digital media, and critical pedagogy assist in both analyzing the program’s expectations and forthcoming stories. It is the aim of this presentation to complicate approached, challenge taken-for-granted visions of girlhood, and tease out program implementations targeting girls in general and girls of color in particular.
Dr. Kimberly A. Scott is an Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University, and Founder/Executive Director of the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (https://cgest.asu.edu/). Trained as a sociologist of education and childhoods, Scott’s interdisciplinary work examines girls’ of color (African American, Native American, Latina) social and academic development in informal spaces and their techno-social innovations. In 2007, Scott founded CompuGirls a technology program for adolescent girls from underserved school districts that offers participants opportunities to work with cutting edge digital media to encourage computational thinking, affect positive change in their communities, enhance techno-social analytical skills and provide a dynamic and fun learning environment that nurtures self-esteem. Scott was named in 2014 a White House Champion of Change for STEM Access. Dr. Scott earned her B.A. from Smith College in Art History and French Literature, an M.S. from Long Island University in Curriculum and Instruction/Elementary Education, an Ed.D. from Rutgers University in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education, and recently completed the High Potentials Leadership Program at the Harvard Business School.