Research at Kapor Center For Social Impact examines inequity in access and opportunity across K-12, higher education, and workplace contexts in order to improve the outcomes for underrepresented students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Areas of Focus
- Inequity in opportunity for underrepresented students of color in K-12 STEM education, with a particular focus on computer science.
- Social/psychological mechanisms impacting engagement and persistence in STEM for underrepresented students of color, as well as coping strategies and youth resilience.
- The intersectionality of race and gender in STEM and understanding experiences and obstacles of girls of color pursuing STEM studies.
- Efficacy (short-term and long-term) and contribution of STEM intervention programs for middle and high school students of color (e.g., SMASH, SMASH Prep, Hackathons) to pursue STEM opportunities.
- Innovative project-based social justice approaches to engaging underrepresented students in STEM subjects and improving academic outcomes.
- Lack of diversity in the STEM pipeline, specifically focusing on barriers for individuals from underrepresented groups.
- The democratization of access to STEM knowledge, particularly computer science.
Publications & Presentations
- Computer Science in California’s Schools: 2016 AP CS Results and Implications March 14, 2017 - The Kapor Center for Social Impact and the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS) released a policy brief detailing disparities in Advanced Placement Computer Science A test taking in California and the nation. Key findings of Continue Reading
- Broadening Participation in Computer Science: Existing Out-of-School Initiatives and a Case Study December 26, 2016 - This article, which appeared in the November issue of the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) publication Inroads, outlines the types of interventions designed to increase equity in Computer Science (CS). SMASH was highlighted as a case study within the CS Continue Reading
- Enhancing Participation in Computer Science among Girls of Color: An Examination of a Preparatory AP Computer Science Intervention December 26, 2016 - The Kapor Center for Social Impact research team produced a chapter of an IGI Global book slated for publication in 2017: “Moving Students of Color from Consumers to Producers of Technology.” The chapter examines the impact of one 5-week summer Continue Reading
- CSTA Voice – Equity in CS: From Exposure to Entrepreneurship January 20, 2016 - LPFI and colleagues from UC Berkeley’s Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) course, now part of the SMASH Computer Science curriculum, partnered to publish a summary of interventions to engage underrepresented youth of color in Computer Science for the January Continue Reading
- Path Not Found: Disparities in Computer Science Course Access in California High Schools May 7, 2015 - Given the rising demand for skilled computer science professionals in California, it is vital that the state’s public schools provide all students with a solid foundation in computer science coursework. However, California’s school system is failing to prepare its students—particularly Continue Reading
- Perceived Barriers to Higher Education in STEM September 20, 2014 - This article was published in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. Abstract: The underrepresentation of people of color in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) has become an increasing concern nationwide, with efforts Continue Reading
- Diversity Data Shows Need to Focus on Women of Color July 10, 2014 - The floodgates holding back the tech industry’s dismal diversity data are now wide open. First Google, then LinkedIn and Yahoo, and now Facebook have soaked Silicon Valley watchers with what many of us already assumed: the tech community is mostly Continue Reading
- Dissecting the Data 2012: Examining STEM Opportunities and Outcomes for Underrepresented Students in California March 12, 2012 - The Dissecting the Data 2012 report reveals that pervasive opportunity and achievement gaps across all levels of schooling negatively impact the chances for underrepresented students of color to achieve success in STEM education and to pursue higher education degrees and Continue Reading
- The Tilted Playing Field: Hidden Bias in Information Technology Workplaces September 29, 2011 - The Tilted Playing Field: Hidden Bias in Information Technology Workplaces report was released September 2011. The report reveals that hidden biases within the workplace can produce unequal opportunities and outcomes for employees depending on their race and gender. This study Continue Reading
- Diversity in Non-Profit Organizations Research Study April 12, 2011 - The Voice of Nonprofit Talent: Perceptions of Diversity in the Workplace is the culmination of a nationwide survey of over 1,600 nonprofit professionals and was produced in partnership with Commongood Careers and released April 12, 2011. The report reveals that Continue Reading
- Do Computer Science Exposure Activities Increase Pursuit of Computer Science Higher Education for Underrepresented Groups? March 14, 2017 - The Kapor Center for Social Impact Tech Inclusion Research Team presented the findings of a study on the longitudinal results of computer science exposure activities during SMASH in a poster session at the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Continue Reading
- Engaging Underrepresented Students in Computer Science September 28, 2016 - "LPFI, the Kapor Center for Social Impact, and colleagues from UC Berkeley and El Camino College presented strategies for engaging underrepresented students of color in Computer Science at the Tapia 2016 Diversity in Computing Conference in Austin, Texas. Strategies discussed Continue Reading
- Influence and Motivation in STEM Among Underrepresented High School Students of Color May 6, 2016 - "Presented at the 2016 American Education Research Association (AERA) Conference in Washington, D.C. (April 8, 2016), this qualitative study examined the differing ways that boys and girls of color in the Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH) STEM program Continue Reading
- Examining the Impact of a Culturally Responsive Out-of-School Computer Science Intervention for Underrepresented High School Students May 6, 2016 - "This study, funded generously by the National Science Foundation, outlines the impact of short-term, culturally responsive computer science program for underrepresented youth of color. Chief among its findings are that a culturally responsive pedagogical framework in computer science shows promise Continue Reading
- Peer Network Effects and Persistence in Pursuit of STEM Higher Education for Underrepresented Groups November 18, 2015 - Presented at the 2015 National Symposium on Student Retention (November 4, 2015), this poster illuminates the role that gender and ethnic/racial identities play in the formation of peer networks in STEM for underrepresented students of color, with a special investigation Continue Reading
- Computer Science Access for Students of Color: Disparities and Opportunities November 18, 2015 - "This presentation, given to the 2015 California Department of Education STEM Symposium in San Diego, CA (October 29, 2015), explored disparities in Computer Science course access in California high schools with highest proportions of: underrepresented students of color, low-income students, Continue Reading
- Path Not Found: Disparities in Access to Computer Science Courses in California High Schools – CSTA Golden Gate Chapter presentation July 31, 2015 - The findings of the “Path Not Found:Disparities in Access to Computer Science Courses in California High Schools” were presented and discussed at the Computer Science Teachers Association Golden Gate chapter meeting (June 28, 2015). The research illuminated the disparities in Continue Reading
- Engaging Underrepresented Youth in Computer Science July 31, 2015 - Researchers, staff and computer science instructors from Level Playing Field Institute, the Kapor Center for Social Impact and the Computer Science Division of the University of California, Berkeley held a panel discussion on increasing access to computer science for underrepresented Continue Reading
- Expanding Opportunities in Computer Science Among Girls of Color: An Examination of an AP Preparatory Computer Science Intervention July 31, 2014 - This study, presented at the American Educational Research Association annual conference in Chicago (April 16-20, 2015), examined the efficacy of a computer science preparatory intervention on computer science achievement and aspirations of underrepresented girls of color within LPFI’s SMASH program. Continue Reading
- Gender and Racial Stereotype Endorsement: Examining the Impact on STEM Outcomes May 22, 2014 - This research study was presented at the Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention (May 22-25, 2014) in San Francisco. The research has implications for further understanding the presence and impact of psychological barriers to pursuit and persistence in STEM fields Continue Reading