Talks & Papers


Using Data Visualizations to Empower Informal STEM Educators

Educators working in informal learning spaces must attend to learning goals without the structures provided by a formal learning institution. While the need for STEM learning opportunities in informal environments is increasingly apparent, educators and mentors in these spaces often do not have STEM content specialization or expertise. In this video we share educator data dashboards that pull live data from the online DYD platform, displaying metrics to help mentors manage their blended-learning spaces and support their young STEM learners. We focus on sociotechnical dimensions, including platform features and technical capabilities that support mentorship in informal STEM communities alongside authentic DYD mentors practices, intentions, and challenges. Together, researchers, designers, and practitioners are determining which metrics are useful in this context, how information should be displayed in order to be most effective, and how mentors use the data to support individual girls in their STEM learning trajectories, and build community engagement and success across the cohort.

Digital Youth Divas: STEM Weekends for Chicago Girls

The Digital Youth Divas (DYD) is a blended online and face- to- face program developed and run by the Digital Youth Network at DePaul University. The program, led by PI’s Nichole Pinkard and Sheena Erete, is designed to engage girls in Chicago, particularly those from underserved communities, with computational circuitry and programming through fabrication and design. This video submission shares the story of one cohort of girls over the course of two months as they go through a curricular unit of the DYD program focused on electronic fabrication..

DYD is purposefully designed to impact girls’ STEM identities, learning and knowledge outcomes, and their sense of community. The intention is to engage girls with situational components that offer opportunities to develop self-directed engagement over time. The primary program components include (1) self-paced, hands-on, project-based learning; (2) an online social learning network where girls access instructions and resources, upload project work, and interact with others; (3) adult mentorship on and offline; (4) original multimedia narrative stories with diverse characters that prompt work and conversation; and (5) connections to external opportunities around the city that make visible next steps to broaden or deepen STEM knowledge.

Educational aids or Curricula

We produced a mini-course on “Beyond Traditional Metrics: Using Automated Log Coding to Understand 21st Century Learning Online” published on the EdX platform as part of the Learning@Scale 2016 Flipped Conference. URL: