Build IT is an after-school and summer youth-based program for underserved middle school girls designed to promote girls' IT fluency, interest in math, and knowledge of IT careers, to address the significant gender gap in high-paying advanced technology careers. This innovative collaboration between the research group SRI International and Girls Inc of Alameda County (GAIC) incorporates curricular content in math and computer science, career mentoring, staff professional development, Family Tech Nights and embedded formative assessments for evaluating technology fluency, all portable to Girls Inc' 1,500 program sites reaching more than 600,000 girls annually.
Build IT capitalizes on girls' inherent interest in
design and communication technologies, engaging girls in hands-on,
collaborative, real-world experiences as they progress through 3 stages
— Apprentice, Journeygirl, and Specialist. In this video profile
we see girls at the Specialist stage tackling game design challenges,
their level of engagement invigorated by accountability to a “client”.
Furthering career awareness, Build IT also incorporates structured interactions
with IT professionals and field trips to high-profile organizations
like MoAD (Museum of the African Diaspora) and Google, showcasing the
diversity and creativity of IT careers, while altering
girls' perceptions of IT careers as solitary and boring, to collaborative,
fun, and intellectually stimulating.
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