PGE/SEP: User-Friendly Science and Math Software for Early Adolescent Girls
Mary Flanagan Principal Investigator
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HRD-9979265<br/><br/>Adolescent Girls" is to create online, user-friendly software for girls ages 9-11 [27, 29]. The Adventures of Josie True will be web-based software for girls designed to encourage exploration and promote confidence in math and the sciences in multicultural, educational software. Using an adventure game as the premise, lead character Josie True and her friends become involved in intrigue across time and space as they rescue their inventor-turned-teacher Ms. Trombone. During their travels, girls will meet innovative women from history who will serve as multicultural role models. In addition to exploring rewarding activities based on science and math curricular topics, girls will be able to learn about women's history through technologies that allow girls to "interview" women like Bessie Coleman, the first female African-American aviator. <br/> Throughout this software development project, we will offer girls a healthy and entertaining set of educational alternatives; the project will develop an online community, provide a sense of adventure, invite participation, and offer positive, real-life role models while using technology to encourage experimentation with science and math. Players will explore the software with their "host" Josie True, an 11-year-old Asian-American girl, though time and space as they search for the great African American Pilot, Bessie Coleman. The characters travel in time to 1922 Chicago to save their missing science teacher and become embroiled in adventure. This narrative provides the context for science and math based learning activities.<br/> Josie True will provide all girls, especially girls who have had fewer opportunities, a chance to interact in science activities and "meet" role models. We pay special attention to female innovators and scientists to provide positive, "technological" female role models to help encourage girls to explore the sciences while advancing creative thinking, problem solving, and originality.<br/> We hope this project will increase time girls spend with the computer, increase their comfort level with technology, improve their learning by contextualizing concepts and problem solving, and provide characters engaged in science, math, and technology in order to promote scientific concepts and the associated disciplines.<br/> Josie will be promoted with textbook publishers, national school boards, and international education organizations. In addition, as an internet-based activity, Josie True will be accessible wherever the Internet is, such as public libraries and some schools.