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
- 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
- Dissecting the Data 2012: Examining STEM Opportunities and Outcomes for Underrepresented Students in California March 12, 2012 Posted in: Research Publications, STEM Research - 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
- Intersectional STEM Network Formation: Longitudinal Peer Support, Anti-Blackness, and Persistence in STEM for Underrepresented Students December 14, 2017 Posted in: Research Presentations, STEM Research - Peer networks formed in a rigorous HS STEM summer program were related to persistence in studying STEM in college however were not sufficient to overcome isolation in STEM majors. Latinx students were significantly more likely to report being close to Continue Reading
- Culturally Relevant Computer Science Education: From Theory to Practice December 14, 2017 Posted in: Computer Science Access, Computer Science Intervention, Girls of Color In CS, Research Presentations - Presented at the 2017 American Education Research Association (AERA) Conference in San Antonio, TX, this research describes the practices of culturally relevant computer science pedagogy, including tenets and instructional examples. View Presentation
- Do Computer Science Exposure Activities Increase Pursuit of Computer Science Higher Education for Underrepresented Groups? March 14, 2017 Posted in: Computer Science Intervention, Girls of Color In CS, Research Presentations - 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 Posted in: Computer Science Intervention, Research Presentations - "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 Posted in: Research Presentations, STEM Research - "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 Posted in: Computer Science Intervention, Research Presentations - "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 Posted in: Research Presentations, STEM Research - 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 Posted in: Computer Science Access, Research Presentations - "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 Posted in: Computer Science Access, Research Presentations - 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 Posted in: Computer Science Intervention, Research Presentations - 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