Awakening the 'tech' in girls' brains
Developed in 2007, COMPUGIRLS is an ITEST project that serves 60 girls in underserved school districts in the Phoenix-metro area. The girls, who are predominantly Hispanic, Native American and African-American, can begin the program as eighth graders and participate in six distinct courses, meeting four times a week for five weeks. In addition to advancing techno-social skills, they learn to improve their writing, conduct interviews, draft proposals, and research using the Internet, as well as ASU’s online library. As part of the program, COMPUGIRLS loans each participant a laptop, digital camera and digital camcorder. Podcasting, Teen Second Life, Sims and Scratch are a few of the applications that the girls learn throughout the program to showcase their social justice issue.
“Unlike most technology programs, COMPUGIRLS is very focused on having the girls identify and research a social or community issue that is important to them,” ASU Professor Kimberly Scott said. “The technology becomes a means to that research, to analyze that issue and ultimately come up with and present a solution.”