Jillianna Farietta's Blog
Here is where I will document my personal involvement in the project. To read the other researchers' blogs, follow the links below.
For our first meeting of the semester we mostly discussed loistics and made an overall timeline of what we wished to accomplish and when by. We also decided to investigate more into our background research to make it easier on ourselves for when we're writing our final reports. I will be investigating what keeps girls interested in STEM during during middle school.
We each presented our background research- one article I looked at was Gender Differences in the Consistency of Middle School Students’ Interest in Engineering and Science Careers. Ing, Aschbacher, and Tsai found that girls who were more interested in engeneering were diffrent from their peers on two accounts: an early interest in science and participation in science related activites before the 7th Grade. another factor that helped girls remain interested in STEM was the belief that what they were interested in would help people as a whole.
This meeting was a bit shorter than usual- Jazzmine and I were prepping to attend Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. We continued our discussion on our background research and further developed what we would like to do with our project.
No meeting this week because of GHC. However, Maria met with students at a nearby college to see if they were interested in collaborating on our project.
Unfortunately, I became ill this week and had to miss this meeting. However, Jazzmine did send me an email catching me up.
We addressed the concerns brought up in the last meeting. We will be attempting to code games with levels, the easier games will start off with a Scratch framework and end with a code view as the users progress. We decided to use Python for our language to teach students in. We will also be targeting 6th graders as our testing group. The others will be trying to recruit a testing group while I maintain the website, as I am still fairly ill.
We discussed our goals from last week. Both Jazzmine and Maria are trying to contact others who could help us recruit a testing group. Since we only have five weeks left until winter break, we are trying to code something for next week. Our goals are to have a basic lesson in Scratch on variables coded by each of us. We will then compare the three games and select the best parts of each. We also will begin applying for the poster session at Tapia 2016.
This week we wen over our examples of variables in Scratch. We all decided that we each had naturally done different 'levels' of a game, and decided to combine the game maria made with mine as it would explain varaibles and then have kids work on an example. For next week we will be doing the same, but with the concept of if/else. Jazzmine and I will be working on the poster proposal for Tapia sometime this week as well.
We went over out If/Else examples that we developed in Scratch. The poster proposal was pushed off until this upcoming winter break as the deadline has moved to next semester as well. As a group, we decided that coding in for the games was more time sensitive and relative.
This past weekend we held the Strong Women Strong Girls "IT/CS Coding" Class. We demoed a rough version of our Scratch "What is a Variable?" and "If/Else" games. I think we gathered a lot of experience from this event on how to handle children and how much they can handle. They were from 3rd to 6th grade. For the upcoming week we have decided to begin working on IRB forms and to get to our timeline goals for the month, which is primarily find a reliable pool of kids to test the games on in the Spring.
No in person meeting this week due to sickness, but had an email chain instead. We discussed the future of our project for next semester and plan to discuss more next week.
We discussed when our meeting times will be for next semester. We also plan on working on our Tapia proposal/poster over winter break as well as coding projects. We also need to figure out whether or not the IRB process is necessary for our project.
While not actually a meeting, this will be a summary of what was done over winter break. We discussed the Tapia proposal that needs to be written for the upcoming month. Jazzmine will be the designated presenter as she will still be an undergrad during the time of the conference. We split up the proposal writing between the three of us. I will be writing the approach and results and contribution, as well as editing for overall flow and converting it to LaTex.
This was our first meeting since winter break. We finalized our Tapia porposal, Jazzmine taking lead on some of the writing as she will be the desginated presenter. I took the task of filling in gaps and making the whole proposal sound cohesive. I also put the proposal into IEEE format on LaTex.
We discussed what materials and work needed to be delegated for our IRB proposal. I will be doing a user satisfaction survey and potentially some demographic questions. This is different than other surveys I have written before because it must be understandable to children in such a way that they will answer honestly.
We narrowed down what needed to be worked on for the surveys as well as our final curriculum. This week I will be working on Scratch to make a project that teaches more about Python variables.
This week we went over our survey drafts that we had prepared. Specifically we discussed whether or not I should prepare demographic questions and went over the wording/tone for my user satisfaction one. We are trying to finalize our IRB proposal to submit next week. I also demonstrated more of my Scratch project on Variable types, and we collaborated on what needed to be developed more for that.
This meeting we have realized that a lot of our contacts for possible testing groups have not been fruitful. With the realization that we may not be able to test our games, we have deicided to focus more on the development of some sort of sand box to hold them in, such as a website or Java gui file. I personally will be working on getting a website started and incorporating our games onto it. I think we learned a lot about the process of working with children; it's not as easy as it is with other test group subjects. Next time, we may have to approach this very differently. Instead of potentially getting a group to come to us, we may need to gather a group of children volunteers. Either way, we'll work on the best project demo that we can possibly make.
This week I began working on the demo website. It's not much currently and will eventually be linked to on the main page once it's a little more substantial. We also began splittling up additional work for us to do over the next week, as we will be on spring break. This also mean no meeting next week either.
This week I had jury duty and was not able to make our usual meeting. I continued to work on the website and Jazzmine and Maria caught me up.
This week I am adding more instructions to the demo website as well as polishing off how the participants will use the website for testing, which will potentially begin next week.
We submitted out proposal for the Undergraduate Symposium that Simmons holds. I am setting up our accounts PRePP to use the Simmons psych undergraduate population as our participants as well.
This week I focused on some finalizations of the website, as well as making it more user-friendly looks-wise. We did a demo of our procedure ourselves to see how it would work with participants, and made some changes based on that. I will continue tweaking the website until we test it with real participants.
I sent my availibility to the doodle that Jazzmine had set-up to figure out when each of us could run testing on different days. We also got confirmed as panelists for the Undergraduate Symposium! I continued to modify the website based on the other's suggestions.
Maria is away this week, Jazzmine and I are focused on getting participants. I reached out to my past Psych Profs. in order to have them mention our study in class. I also created a flyer for our study.
This week was the UGS! I ran the analysis on all of our collected participant data. Not as big of an n as I would have liked (11 total participants), but this is to be expected as other studies may have already poached some of our possible participants. The panel went very well, with me explaining the analysis that I did. We may also have a possible future group to work with over the summer! I am excited to see how that pans out.
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