Girl ARTs

Augmented reality (AR) is changing the way science is accessed, understood, and shared with and by the public. As such, it may help attract young women to science and computer science by focusing on communication aspects of scientific work. We will partner Maine art-oriented girls with scientists and media designers to create AR experiences focused on science questions and issues relevant to their local community (i.e., science-based Pokeman Go). Science, computational thinking, and basic computer programming skills are stealthily targeted via story-telling and games that the young women design using AR software. The Girl Augmented-Reality Toward Science (Girl ARTs) project contributes to our understanding of the value of this “stealth” approach, as well as the use of AR-based media design, to enhance science and computer science interest and confidence of young women who do not see themselves as “science-types,” opening the door for them to consider related career pathways. Our project also provides insight into strategies that help scientists communicate effectively with diverse audiences.

Funding: National Science Foundation (3 years, NSF1657317, “Developing rural girls’ STEM competency and motivation through communicating scientific topics with advanced technology”)