Build IT: Girls Building Information Technology Fluency Through Design
In Alameda County, California, 150 middle school female students are learning about communications technology, engaging in software design and creating small mobile devices by working on projects as design partners with software engineers.
SRI and Girls, Inc. of Alameda County will develop a problem-based program for underserved middle-school girls. "Build IT" will serve 150 girls in three years providing each with 150 contact hours of programming. The program is designed to increase IT fluency, motivate girls to engage in IT related activities, encourage the pursuit of IT careers and increase interest in mathematics. Participants will progress through three stages: Apprentice, Journeygirl, and Specialist. Apprentices learn how to use Internet communication tools and interact with design professionals in a variety of IT fields. Journeygirls engage in software design and create small mobile devices while working in conjunction with software engineers in Stanford University's Learning, Design, and Technology Program. Specialists continue to work in design teams and build valuable project and resource management skills. Additional activities consist of professional development for Girls, Inc. staff to build IT fluency, as well as Family Tech Nights to encourage parental involvement.