Women remain under-represented in technology-creation fields. While studies have shown that the middle-school years are particularly important for motivating positive interest in science and technology fields, one issue that arises is how to engage girls, at the critical middle-school age, in IT related practice. In this thesis, I describe a mixed methods approach to the development of flexible heuristics, derived from the implementation of an interactive storytelling and game design workshop, to engage middle-school girls in technology-creation activities. Girls’ technology-creation needs and preferences are explored from a study of the everyday activities of a purposive sample of 30 middle-school children, along with analysis of story and game projects developed by workshop participants. Such design heuristics, derived from insights gained during the course of the workshop and from activity study data, contribute to technology fluency objectives and ongoing, practice-based research in the fields of non-formal learning and IT education.
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Thesis advisor: El-Nasr, Magy Seif
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