Project Profile



The COMPUGIRLS Scale-Up project utilizes a culturally relevant technology (CRT) program to prepare girls ages 13-18 from the Phoenix high needs district to enter the STEM workforce. This project builds on the successful NSF-funded COMPUGIRLS award (DRL 08-33773), which uses social justice-based multimedia projects to engage young women in activities that increase knowledge, understanding, and awareness of careers in STEM and information and communications technology (ICT). Arizona State University, will implement this project in partnership with Colorado's Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (CMESA) program, Education Development Center, YMCA Boulder, Phoenix Union High School District, Gila River Indian Community, and Whiteriver Junction Apache Indian Community. The objectives of the COMPUGIRLS Scale-Up are to increase the number of girls from under-resourced areas exposed to a CRT program; to sustain and replicate the best practices from the ITEST Strategies project; to develop a sustainable and replicable online professional development community; and to create community and academic presentations based on research findings. COMPUGIRLS uses a theoretical framework that includes Culturally Responsive Practices and Future Time Perspectives which complement the career focus of the project. The project design includes both a research and evaluation component. The mixed-methods, participatory research design seeks to increase understanding of how a problem-based multimedia curriculum that incorporates evidenced-based culturally relevant pedagogy affects underserved and underrepresented girls' dispositions to enter the STEM/ICT workforce; how the scale-up process of a girl-centered culturally relevant program operates across learning contexts; and how technology operationalizes professional development and peer networking in different contexts that adopt the COMPUGIRLS program model. The evaluation plan will assess the impact on students' science and STEM learning dispositions, intent to pursue STEM careers, and sustainability. Project deliverables include dissemination to six sites (YMCA-Boulder, Colorado MESA, Whiteriver Unified School District, and ASU Polytechnic and Mercado), four revised courses, an 80-hour professional development course, an online learning community, and an annual cross-site event. The young women participate in four technology courses over a one-year period (e.g. Introduction to Social Justice; SCRATCH, Introduction to Second Life, Second Life Capstone), ending with a 4-8 week summer internship at a local business site. Professional development for teachers utilizes a hybrid approach that incorporates an 8-hour face-to-face course and 100 self-paced online activities. The COMPUGIRLS Learning Community (CLC) is an online learning platform designed to support both students and teachers with social networking, training webinars, and opportunities to showcase completed projects. This project will support nearly 700 students and teachers. It is anticipated that the research studies will help increase understanding of the effect of the COMPUGIRLS program on self concept in technology, academic possible selves, and self regulation in girls of color, in addition to the affects of the model on indigenous girls' cultural selves as expressed in understanding and commitment to cultural traditions. Research findings will be disseminated through the National Center for Women and Information Technology, peer reviewed journals, conferences and meetings, and the COMPUGIRLS Learning Community.


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Principal Investigator(s)
Co-Principal Investigator(s)


Award Number
Project Duration
2012 - 2018
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Project Work State
Target Gradespan(s)
Middle school (6-8)
High school (9-12)
Project Setting(s)
Informal Education
Geographic Location(s)
Project Status
Additional Disciplines
Computer Science - general
Additional Target Participants