Research

Current Projects

Developing a Culturally Responsive Framework for Promoting Computing Among Adolescent Girls in STEM Programs 

National Science Foundation (PI)                                                        

Award amount: $294,115.

2016-2018

Drawing from feminist science and technology studies (STS) approaches, this project is a data sharing initiative with Black Girls Rock!, a nonprofit youth empowerment organization, aimed at developing a culturally responsive computing framework that is informed by girls’ self-identified cultural markers. The project investigates the varied ways girls of color can direct their own computational learning and proposes a conceptual exploration of culturally responsive pedagogy by addressing the following research question: How can self- identified cultural markers shape the “responsive” nature of computing programs? I aim to develop a conceptual framework that can be used by practitioners and community organizations who are designing and implementing STEM programs for girls of color.

Engaging Libraries in Culturally Responsive STEM Programming

Institute for Museum and Library Services (Co-PI)

Award amount: $249,999

2016-2018

Through a partnership with Ypsilanti District Library, Imperial County Free Library, Tempe Public Library, and the ASU Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology, I am developing a culturally responsive and low-resource model for teaching computational thinking skills in libraries. The project focuses on improving non-cognitive outcomes related to girls’ self-efficacy and persistence, leverages available library resources and expertise, utilizes “unplugged” learning activities, and incorporates inexpensive technologies, such as LittleBits.

Border Quants: Feminist Approaches to Data, Bodies, and Technologies Across Borders

ASU Seed Grant for Transborder Communities (Co-PI)
Award amount: $17,500

2016-2017

I am collaborating with four scholars from Arizona State University to develop a research cluster that examines the use of quantifying technologies by women across multiple communities in the borderlands. The work produced by this feminist research cluster is interdisciplinary and challenges assumptions about the uses of digital technologies among women of color as solely corporate tools for surveillance by revealing the unexpected spaces of empowerment and critique along the US-Mexico border.

Completed Projects

Intersectional & Social Constructionist Approaches to STEM Education for Girls of Color

In my research with CompuGirls, an NSF-funded STEM program for adolescent girls, I examined the mutually constitutive relationship between technology, gender and other intersecting identity categories, such as race and class.  I argued that an intersectional view of technology can dismantle the language of objectivity surrounding technological artifacts by revealing how gender, race, and class are integral components of the social shaping of technology and by extension participation in technological initiatives, such as STEM outreach programs. I demonstrated how an intersectional and social constructionist approach to technology education can challenge stereotypes of girls of color as passive victims of technology and provide a counter-narrative that can empower girls of color to form generative and agentic relationships with technology.

Accessing Archives: Digital Platforms, Primary Sources, and Inquiry-Based Learning

With the widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards, K-12 teachers are required to utilize primary sources as tools to promote inquiry-based learning. My dissertation used ethnographic methods to investigate how teachers use digital archival platforms to access primary sources and create online communities for sharing instructional materials. By examining the practices of teachers who are actively teaching with primary sources, my dissertation disentangled the complex relationship between unstated educational practices, national educational standards, and the archival processes that are undertaken as part of classroom instruction.

Participatory Culture in Networked Environments

As a member of Part Lab, an NSF-funded collaborative research group housed in the Institute for Society and Genetics at UCLA, I have studied the multidimensional nature of public participation on the Internet, including studying crowdsourced citizen science and free and open source software (FOSS) projects. I contributed to the creation of a database documenting 102 heterogeneous cases of online participation and the development of a web-based evaluation platform that allowed for group-oriented comparative case analysis. The research resulted in a co-authored article published in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) titled “Seven dimensions of contemporary participation disentangled,” which presented seven defining characteristics of online participation.