The goal of the research component of the project aims to determine how three core approaches to STEM identity development (community-building, hands-on activities, role models), as implemented through the Brite Online Learning Community, influence girls’ STEM identity. It is our expectation that the majority of girls participate in both the research study and program evaluation components.
One of the innovative goals of BRITE is to challenge assumptions about STEM identity development and determine how the Brite Online Learning Community influences participating girls’ STEM identities. The research component of the project includes quantitative and qualitative methods that focus on four constructs of identity development: Competence, performance, recognition, and sense of belonging. The purpose of the study is to determine how the three core approaches to STEM identity development (community-building, hands-on activities, role models), as implemented through the Brite Online Learning Community, influence girls’ STEM identity.
Quantitative research includes:
A pre-survey, a post-survey at the end of each week (three post-surveys each year), and a follow-up survey 6-12 months after the program. All surveys will be implemented in year 1 and year 2.
Qualitative research includes:
Open-ended questions in the pre-survey and the post-survey each week, implemented in year 1 and year 2. Select girls will be asked to participate in focus groups in year 2 (no focus groups for girls in year 1).
We will publish a report on the Brite Practices for online learning to improve STEM identity determined by the research on the Brite Online Learning Community.
The Brite evaluation will focus on the Brite educators and the project’s goal of equipping the educators with research-based, tested Brite Practices for facilitating girls’ STEM identity development in online learning communities. Data collected will include educators’ use of gender equitable and culturally responsive strategies included in the Brite educator training, each site’s implementation of curriculum as designed (activities, icebreakers, etc.), and preparation for and participation in role model sessions. The evaluation will also document differences across sites, how each site adapted for their specific audience, situation, and context, and the successes and challenges experienced by each site. Data sources will include educator pre and post-surveys and focus group interviews, learning platform analytics, and site-specific information such as demographics, attendance, and organizational supports for educators.
The Brite Program is only available to self-identifying girls ages 13-16 from 10 pre-selected informal STEM programs. If you want to learn more about future offerings enter your email below to stay updated..