Engaging Secondary Female Students in Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing
The underrepresentation of female students in computing and engineering fields can be attributed to different factors such as gender stereotypes or unfamiliarity with computing and engineering fields. This project will occur in a region in which many secondary female students have not had opportunities to take STEM and Information and Communication Technologies courses. The project aims to broaden the participation of secondary female students in STEM and Information and Communication Technologies fields by engaging them in ubiquitous intelligence and computing. The researchers will engage secondary female students through a five-week summer camp and STEM competition to work on smart city-related projects and applications such as smart citizen services, intelligent transportation system and intelligent energy planning. The project is expected to increase secondary female students' knowledge, skills, and interests in STEM careers and contribute to the research on female students' self-concept construction and motivations for learning STEM.
The major objectives of the project are to: 1) enhance secondary female students' academic self-concepts in computing and engineering fields through a constructivist learning environment; 2) enhance secondary female students' knowledge, skills, and interests in these fields; 3) increase the number of secondary female students participating in STEM competitions; and 4) investigate the factors that influence female students' career choices in STEM and Information and Communication Technologies fields. The project will involve 120 female students from Grades 6-11 in a five-week summer camp to learn Python and Arduino programming. They will then integrate these tools to develop ubiquitous intelligent systems in tiered teams co-mentored by college students and STEM teachers. In each year, a one-week mentor training workshop will be held to train the mentors, and a two-day Fall STEM Competition Workshop will be organized to promote STEM teachers to organize teams to participate in STEM competitions. A virtual learning cloud will be used to engage the students and mentors in building the learning community during and after the summer camp. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods including surveys, interviews, and analysis of student artifacts will be used to assess the impact of the project activities on secondary female students' knowledge, skills, and interests in STEM fields and career choices.
This project is funded by the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program, which supports projects that build understandings of practices, program elements, contexts and processes contributing to increasing students' knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communication technology (ICT) careers.