Colloquium: Dr. Patricia Garcia (University of Michigan): Culturally Responsive Computing: Promoting Computational thinking Among Adolescent Girls Through Participatory Design


Abstract: The continual underrepresentation of women in color in computing fields has prompted the creation of extracurricular computing programs that predominantly focus on teaching girls to code. Unfortunately, many computing programs for girls of color simplify the complex problem of disparity in computer science using deficit-based accounts that associate educational inequalities with girls’ motivations and access to networked technologies. Drawing on data from two projects, this talk explores how participatory design can be used to create culturally responsive computing experiences that celebrate girls' intersectional identities and promote computational thinking skills.

Speaker Bio: Patricia Garcia is a Research Fellow in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. She holds a Ph.D. in Information Studies from the iSchool at UCLA. She conducts sociocultural research on race, gender, and technology with a special interest in studying how the use of culturally responsive computing practices can increase girls’ participation in STEM activities. The interdisciplinary nature of her work has resulted in peer-reviewed publications geared toward information studies, education, and gender studies audiences. In addition to her scholarly work, she advocates for gender equity in STEM among policy makers and community organizers by participating in events such as “The White House Conference on Inclusive STEM Education for Youth of Color” co-hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Her work is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).


1:15pm to 2:30pm


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