Author: Patricia Garcia

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Engaging Libraries in Culturally Responsive STEM Programming This project is a partnership with Ypsilanti District Library, Imperial County Free Library, and Tempe Public Library. The goal of the partnership is to develop and implement a culturally responsive and low- resource model for teaching computational thinking in public libraries. I began this project in 2016 in collaboration with Dr. Kim Scott from the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (CGEST) at Arizona State University. The […]

Capacity-Building: Learning in Libraries

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Throughout the process of collaborating with three library systems, we’ve learned a lot about researcher-practitioner partnerships. I’m constantly amazed by the dedication of the librarians who are participating in the research. They’ve participated in hands-on professional development experiences, recruited participants, collected data, brainstormed with the research team, expanded the curriculum, and increased their own computational thinking skills! Below are pictures that highlight how the librarians have challenged themselves to learn alongside the girls participating in […]

Guest Post: Undergraduate Research Experience

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Guest post from Syeda Mahmood, undergraduate research assistant: My role as an undergraduate research assistant included creating activities which would incorporate computational thinking skills, circuitry, and arts & crafts. At the end of every lesson, the girls would have a variety of colored paper, stencils, felt, etc to be creative and create something that not only highlighted their circuitry knowledge and computational skills, but their identity as well. It was incredible seeings girls grow more curious […]

Guest Post: Researching Self-Efficacy in Library Programming

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Guest post from Tori Culler, the graduate student research assistant who worked on the project this summer: As a masters student research intern this summer, I’ve been looking at how girls’ participation in the CompuGirls program contributes to their perceptions of self-efficacy, which is defined as the belief in one’s ability to successfully accomplish a task. I think the most striking example of girl’s self-efficacy expansion I observed occurred at the Ypsilanti District Library in […]

Tinkering with Arduinos at TinkerTech

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A brand new makerspace called TinkerTech has opened up directly across the street from the Ypsilanti District Library! The librarians and girls walked over and participated in an Arduino workshop. We believe that designing learning spaces that act as counterspaces requires challenging traditional student/teacher boundaries and power dynamics. One way to do this is to encourage teachers to learn alongside the students. It was so much fun watching the librarians learn how to use Arduinos […]

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We had another successful librarian training at the Ypsilanti District Library. The librarians worked on creating colorful masks that incorporate circuitry and express their individual styles. I am proud to share that the training was entirely student led! Laura-Ann, Cecilia, and Alice collaborated on designing a hands-on session that trained librarians to teach girls computational thinking skills through the construction of expressive circuitry pieces.