Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Integrating Creativity Tools to Engage Middle School Girls in Computer Science

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Sunday, June 23, 11:30 am–1:30 pm
Location: Posters: Level 4, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 23

Hillary Fleenor   Rania Hodhod  
Learn about a recent summer camp where 13 seventh-grade girls from Girls Inc. participated in a three-week creative computing camp. Girls learned three separate computing platforms: Earsketch, TurtleStitch and Scratch. Students created artifacts in Earsketch and TurtleStitch and then combined these in Scratch.

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Computer science and computational thinking
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
Innovative Designer
  • Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this poster presentation is to share a successful program we developed and delivered to engage minority female middle school students in computer science. We utilized freely available platforms to teach basic programming concepts including algorithm design. Students first created music using Earsketch, an online program designed by Georgia Tech. Next, the students created artwork using TurtleStitch, created by a group in Austria. Students were able to download their designs and use an embroidery machine to embroider their designs onto a t-shirt. In the last week, students imported their music and artwork into Scratch, a block based online programming platform from MIT, and created a multi-media presentation. We didn't lose a single student over the three week program. In addition, every student completed every creation, even several students who claimed to dislike technology.

Supporting research

Engelman, S., Magerko, B., McKlin, T., Miller, M., Edwards, D., & Freeman, J. (2017, March). Creativity in Authentic STEAM Education with EarSketch. In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 183-188). ACM.

Freeman, J., Magerko, B., McKlin, T., Reilly, M., Permar, J., Summers, C., & Fruchter, E. (2014, March). Engaging underrepresented groups in high school introductory computing through computational remixing with EarSketch. In Proceedings of the 45th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education (pp. 85-90). ACM.

Wolz, U., Charles, G., Feire, L., & Nicolson, E. (2018, February). Code Crafters Curriculum: A Textile Crafts Approach To Computer Science. In Proceedings of the 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 1055-1055). ACM.

Adams, J. C. (2010, March). Scratching middle schoolers' creative itch. In Proceedings of the 41st ACM technical symposium on Computer science education (pp. 356-360). ACM.

More [+]


Hillary Fleenor, Columbus State University
Rania Hodhod, Columbus State University

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