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.
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Publications & Presentations
- The Leaky Tech Pipeline: A Comprehensive Framework for Understanding and Addressing the Lack of Diversity across the Tech Ecosystem February 28, 2018 Posted in: Computer Science Access, Girls of Color In CS, Research Publications, STEM Research, Workplace Culture - This report introduces the Leaky Tech Pipeline Framework, explores data on underrepresentation and barriers to diversity, and provides a roadmap for comprehensive interventions and solutions to increase racial and gender diversity across the tech ecosystem. Check out the report below: Continue Reading
- Broadening Participation in Computing: Examining Experiences of Girls of Color December 14, 2017 Posted in: Computer Science Intervention, Girls of Color In CS, Research Publications - This research study examined longitudinal gender differences in computing outcomes among high school girls of color. Girls of color participating in a 3-year CS intervention demonstrated lower initial interest in computing and these gender differences persisted after one year of Continue Reading
- The 2017 Tech Leavers Study April 27, 2017 Posted in: Diversifying Tech, Professional Development, Research Publications, Technology, Workplace Culture - What would you do if your colleagues continually shared offensive and stereotypical racial jokes? How would you respond if the same managers who continually made sexist comments also unfairly critiqued your work contributions, while you watched others being fast-tracked for Continue Reading
- Computer Science in California’s Schools: 2016 AP CS Results and Implications March 14, 2017 Posted in: Computer Science Access, Research Publications - 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 Posted in: Computer Science Intervention, Research Publications - 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 Posted in: Computer Science Intervention, Girls of Color In CS, Research Publications - 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 Posted in: Computer Science Intervention, Research Publications - 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 Posted in: Computer Science Access, Research Publications - 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 Posted in: Research Publications, STEM Research - 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 Posted in: Girls of Color In CS, Research Publications - 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