Creating an Engaging App Development Course for Girls: Catalyzing Young Women’s Interest and Abilities in STEM
Monday, March 6 3:30 PM-4:00 PM
Presider:Wei-Ying Hsiao, University of Alaska Anchorage, United States
The percentage of women in STEM professions has traditionally been small. According to the Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey, women comprise 48 percent of the U.S. workforce but just 24 percent of workers in STEM fields. This paper describes the implementation of an app development curriculum in a middle school girls summer camp program, focused on STEM careers (Beer, Simmons & Safari, 2015; Gardner & Davis, 2013; Lewis, 2014). Data collected via pre and post surveys, as well as the artifacts constructed (apps) by these young women, demonstrate that such activities increase awareness of opportunities in the STEM areas, empower young women to succeed in computer science, and provide creative and energetic outlets for girls to demonstrate their competence in STEM fields.