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March 2018
Our partner Ypsilanti District Library is gearing up host another Expressive Electronics camp this month. Contact them at (734) 482-4110 x1325 to sign up!

January 2018
We have a new postdoc – Dr. Cecilia Fernandez! A fellow Bruin alumna.

 

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 an activity where the girls used soldering to add circuitry and blinking LEDs to a 3d printed bracelet. Soldering is the process by which you use an extremely hot metal implement to weld two pieces of metal together. It’s no joke. The girls were intimidated at first and I certainly can’t blame them — so was I! But as they gained exposure to the tools and began soldering on their own under the safety and supervision of experienced teachers, they really took to the activity and each one of them successfully finished a bracelet. Their confidence and feelings of self-efficacy soared, with many of them reporting that learning to solder was the highlight of their day and several going on to make additional projects using soldering in the final days of the camp.

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 alongside the girls. Both the librarians and the girls walked away with new skills!

 

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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.