824 Views
  1. Mark Van Auken
  2. Graduate Assistant
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. East Stroudsburg University
  1. Jason A. Engerman
  2. Assistant Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. East Stroudsburg University
  1. Emily Jimenez
  2. Undergraduate Student
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. East Stroudsburg University
  1. Richard Otto
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. East Stroudsburg University

Culturally Relevant Computing Activities and Career Readiness for At-Risk Youth

NSF Awards: 1849849

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

We are broadening participation of under-represented youth in our area by giving them a pathway to success using culturally relevant computing in digital media technologies. Specifically geared towards game based industries. We will teach them the basic essentials in graphic design, social media, video editing, and game design during our 6-day camps. This video highlights our case studies in the last year including our Pathways Event, Overwatch Weekend, Game Den Unleashed Event, the building of a gaming news hub, and hosting informational webinars.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (8 posts)
  • Icon for: Jason A. Engerman

    Jason A. Engerman

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 05:41 a.m.

    Hello,

    My name is Jason A. Engerman, Ph.D. and I am the PI of this amazing project sponsored by the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers. The project will feature students from our area engaging in a unique culturally relevant and game-based living-learning community in the form of two sleep-away camps. These camps will feature industry professionals, state of the art tv production studios, and gaming facilities along with paintballing experiences, obstacle courses, and health and wellness experiences in the summer of 2021. Our holistic play ecosystem has been in development alongside local students and a junior research team. The research team, Creative Media Factory, have been interviewing industry professionals, attending workshops and organizing webinars for the past two years in preparation. Our lead presenter here is our very own graduate assistant who has a bachelor's degree in Digital Media Technologies and recently graduated this past weekend with his Master's in Management and Leadership/Organizational Behavior. Please feel free to reach out with questions as we promote opportunities for innovative career preparation in STEM through interactive digital production in game-based learning environments. 

  • Icon for: Thomas Smith

    Thomas Smith

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 08:04 p.m.

    This sure looks like a fun way to learn about STEM careers! How do your recruit participants? Could you tell me a little bit more about the learning goals of the sleep-away camps and how the research team plans to measure them? Are you thinking about how this model might scale up?

  • Icon for: Jason A. Engerman

    Jason A. Engerman

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 09:05 p.m.

    Hello Thomas. Thanks for stopping by. We recruit our participates within our area through relationships with schools, youth organizations and University partnerships. The learning goals are exploratory and seek to examine the change in computational thinking, problem solving, data driven decision making, and model based reasoning across four digital media content areas. These content areas include game design, computer graphics, video production and editing, and digital media marketing with data analytics. Our primary objective focuses on awareness, motivation, and attitudes towards STEM career development. However, we have been developing the infrasture and partnerships we believe are necessary for sustainability and scale. These include the development of undergraduate and graduate certification programming, integrated facility upgrades with connections across academic, residential and student leisure activities, event planning, public private partnerships and student led platforms and programs that allow co designed digital productions with industry experts. So the partnership that helped build facilities and programs are cross departmental, including administration, local officials, school district co curriculum development and public private partnerships that will drive academic achievement and career readiness with networking and job placement opportunities. The specifics of these will come out after the camp has been completed this summer and during our communication plan.

  • Icon for: Mike Vargas

    Mike Vargas

    Facilitator
    Physics Teacher
    May 12, 2021 | 07:46 a.m.

    I too concur with Thomas this looks like a super fun way to do STEM. So what kind of undergrad and graduate certification do you offer and do you have metrics on where kids are going after completing this program? I have to say this is an awesome video and wanted to know how you get something like this started. 

  • Icon for: Jason A. Engerman

    Jason A. Engerman

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 12:41 p.m.

    Hi Mike. Thanks for reaching out. We will keep in touch with students and see where they are via our social media for now. If they decide to attend our program it will be pretty obvious where they came from. Our intention is to use this opportunity to partner with our local districts and become a resource and develop customized curriculum with them. We will also begin to partner with our in state scholastic Esports organization which we have a great relationship with. We will not attempt to be everything for students but instead build partnerships at the local, admin, school and state levels. We already have amazing organizations and even businesses that we hope to create relationships with. We will design a comprehensive package after the camp is completed.

  • Icon for: Richard Otto

    Richard Otto

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 12:36 p.m.

    Hello,

    My name is Richard Otto, Ph.D. and I am the Co-PI of this project that we hope will be of great value to our participants and the larger community, and potentially provide a roadmap of how we created this program for others to follow. In terms of the undergraduate and graduate coursework, it is tied directly to our overall curricular objectives in the area of digital media as an aspect of STEM. The classes will focus on aspects of Esports and the digital entertainment sphere from a digital media production and business/marketing viewpoint. We are building content for our students that augments our current offerings and the creative technology infrastructure: 4k video equipment and studios, virtual reality lab, gaming, postproduction, web and graphics, digital photography, interactive, social media, etc., that will enhance our students’ opportunities for future success.

  • Icon for: Rebecca Vieyra

    Rebecca Vieyra

    Facilitator
    Doctoral Student
    May 12, 2021 | 02:25 p.m.

    Hi there!

    I'm actually really curious about this project, particularly as to how it aims to broaden participation. I'm guessing there are a lot of misconceptions out there about gamers (and I probably have some myself that I'm hoping you can clear up).

    First, what is the existing level of STEM awareness and interest of the gaming population compared to the non-gaming population? It seems as though you are working with students who are already gamers (as opposed to involving non-gamers in gaming, correct?), so I wonder what implications this has for your work.

    Additionally, for a long time I was under the impression that women make up a small population of the gaming community. A quick Google check suggests that it's almost at parity, although the type of games that people play can have major gender gaps. With this in mind, what have you learned about differences (if any) in terms of the way that young women versus young men relate to existing games and those scenarios you are trying to develop?

    Lastly, my husband is a gamer, and I'm quite aware that many gaming spaces (particularly public, multiplayer games) can breed cultures that make use of highly sexist language and behaviors. (Here's one rather well-cited publication: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/a...). Given this, what kinds of safeguards did you enact in your program to counteract some of these norms, if applicable?

  • Icon for: Jason A. Engerman

    Jason A. Engerman

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 04:13 p.m.

    Hello Rebecca,

    Thanks for reaching out. Our population are defined broadly as underrepresented. We have students that live in rural environments, have been out of home placement or out of school placement for various reasons. Broadening participation is giving high end technological access to students that would normally not be able to acquire high end tech tools or facilities on their own and may feel disconnected from school.

    The existing level based on our sruveys are very limited even at the collegiate level. As we conducted preliminary and baseline surveys we found that our small general adolescenet population had a limited awareness of the STEM careers that existed in and around the Esports industry. Many of our students are self identified as gamers and that's our cultural relevant component. We want students that identify with that culture and those subcommunities as build an envirionment that maps to their play ecosystems.

    Boys and girls do play games at about a 50/50 split. However they generally play and use technology in different ways. Gerber and Abrams work speaks to this in their 2014 book on bridging literacies. I also speak to the ways boys have historically engaged in gaming through my boys and gaming work. This current study does not investigate these differences. Instead it focuses on gaming communities as wholes and subgroups. We speak to entire commnity values and norms regardless of gender. We find that even in the first person shooter space, although known for some toxicity, can be environments where yonug ladies and women can thrive. They find their own subcommunities and game on. There are even initiatives and companies being formed to explicitly fight toxicity in gaming. Consider Game Karma by Andrew and Daisy.

    Specifcally to you last point, we build with multiracial, multi-gendered teams. Based on our ongoing work, we find that if we bake full participation and inclusion into the core of the teams that hold leadership positions, we create highly engaging environments, reduce toxicity and increase demand. Our Game Den Unleashed envent is a great example.

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