AR Girls use an innovative science-art approach to support young women’s competency and motivation to participate in Information Communications Technology (ICT) activities and consider related careers. It blends science, communication and technology to provide an entry point for preteen and teen girls who often have higher interest in levels of language, history and art than science and computer science. Under a broad umbrella of art, AR Girls centers on the following themes:
- environmental issues as a portal to science
- communication as a key component of the science process
- interactive digital media (e.g., Augmented Reality or AR) as a form of science communication
In AR Girls, pre-teen and teen girls design multi-media AR experiences to communicate about a waste-related environmental issue (plastic waste, fashion waste and food waste) in their community that matters to them. While not typically categorized as an art form, AR offers opportunities for creativity as it can be used for storytelling, gaming, narrated tours, hybrid-world explorations and m
ore. It can also serve as an innovative communication medium to engage audiences in environmental and socio-environmental topics. The interest-d
riven participatory design process encourages girls to explore connections between their existing skills and interests, and those they may not have considered, potentially fostering increased interest in STEM, while also empowering them to see themselves as change-makers.
AR Girls consist of a weeklong virtual camp led by practitioners experienced in art education. It was initially developed with and for practitioners in Maine and Maryland. The AR Girls resources are now available to all educators.
Interested in learning more about the AR Girls approach and tools, and how you might use it in your own work?
- Click here for an overview of the AR Girls approach for educators.
- Click here to access the AR Girls Educator Guidebook (including AR Girls approach). Note you will need to adapt these materials (including updating links) to use it in your context
- Click here to read an article on development of the AR Girls program.
Funding: National Science Foundation (3 years, NSF1657317, “Developing rural girls’ STEM competency and motivation through communicating scientific topics with advanced technology”)
- Amy Kamarainen, Harvard University Graduate School of Education
- Ruth Kermish-Allen, Maine Math and Science Alliance
- Martin Storksdieck, Oregon State University Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning
- David Gagnon, University of Wisconsin Institute for Discovery