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Title: Promoting and Supporting Computer Science Among Middle School Girls of Color: Initial Findings from BRIGHT-CS
BRIGHT-CS (Building Student Retention through Individuated Guided coHort Training in Computer Science) is a research and development project that 1) creates a computer science learning ecosystem for middle school Black girls and other girls of color and 2) researches the merits of the ecosystem in supporting persistence in CS to determine best practices for broadening participation to other marginalized student groups in computing. First, this paper describes the BRIGHT-CS program, from the structural, instructional, and curricular designs of the program to partnerships with local and community organizations that make up the ecosystem. Second, it presents the initial findings of research on the program and its impacts on student outcomes such as social-emotional attributes associated with persistence. The study employs a multi-method descriptive design. Data includes student surveys, interviews (from students, parents, instructors, teachers, and mentors), artifact reviews, and student observations. The study includes 46 students across four middle schools in two states. At the start of the program, 37% of the students reported being very interested in CS, and 72% reported being very confident in learning CS. This is much higher than a national benchmark of students. After four months of program implementation, the qualitative results show a more nuanced picture of the value of a learning ecosystem. First, the ecosystem offers implicit messaging about equity and success. Second, the ecosystem offers explicit messaging about personal challenges and improvement. Third, following the implicit and explicit messaging to students, students went from naïve confidence to authentic self-efficacy in CS.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1752436
NSF-PAR ID:
10195608
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
SIGCSE '20: Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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