I teach coding/computer science, digital literacy, citizenship, and career education. Since the pandemic, all my classes have moved entirely online.
In other words, I am responsible for remotely teaching all EdTech-based classes to middle school students.
Despite earnest efforts to the contrary, our school does not boast a 1:to:1 device ratio. The teacher who previously held my position had an entire computer lab at her fingertips with which to teach, but due to the pandemic, I am navigating my way through this year with nothing but my laptop and Google Meet.
As my students near the end of their academic journey through elementary and middle school, it is more important than ever for me to prepare them to participate responsibly in the digital world. Of equal importance is my secondary objective, to move my students to start planning and pursuing a specific career path or teach them to discover their purpose in the modern world.
Between two coding classes, I have but one female student—evidence of a lack of female interest in STEM in general.
I hope to drive up the interest level of STEM-based careers among my female CTE students by exposing them to the inspirational stories available within the IF/THEN collection, combined with a transformative hands-on learning experience.
IF I can inspire my female students with stories from REAL women, combined with project-based learning, THEN they will consider pursuing a career in STEM.
Class begins when I share one of the many stories from the collection about women working in STEM, so as to foster a sense of relatability amongst the female students in my class, (if “she” can do it, then “so can I.”)
The collection is already helping to promote a more friendly attitude and impression toward STEM-based careers among my students, I now hope to incentivize them to further explore the idea of working in STEM by providing them with a hands-on learning experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
By pairing these stories with an incentive to earn a DIY computer kit for constructing and coding a personal computer, I believe my students will enthusiastically accept the project-based learning challenge and dive into STEM discovery. This project will lead my students to uncover skills and talents previously unbeknown to them as they LEARN by DOING.
Specifically designed for girls, I hope the Boolean Boxes will lead to individual successes and collective accomplishments, and ultimately pave the way for these young women to embrace the possibility of a career in STEM by providing them with a newfound confidence in their own abilities and a framework for pursuing similar educational opportunities.
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