Remote Mentoring Young Girls in STEM through MAGIC

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Remote Mentoring Young Girls in STEM through MAGIC

  1. 1. Ritu Khare (GetMagic)Esha Sahai (MIT)Ira Pramanick (Google Inc.)contact@getmagic.orgMIT LINC June 18Remote MentoringYoung Females in STEMThrough MAGIC
  2. 2. Motivation• Gender Stratification and Limited Participation– Women ONLY 24% of the STEM workforce in the US (AmericanCommunity Survey 2009)– NOT due to lack of talent but due to discouraging societalattitudes and unique challenges (Khoja et al. 2013, Gorman et al., 2010)• More women in workforce could raise GDP by 5%(Hewlett, 2012)– Establish a nation-wide mentoring system that engages,motivates, and inspires young females toward STEMsubjects in a personalized manner Henneberger et al. 2012)Explores a remote mentoring approach to STEM mentoring
  3. 3. Why Remote Mentoring?• Advantages– Accessibility– Personalization– EfficiencyOnly way to scale nation-wide and offer STEMmentoring to girls from all segments of society
  4. 4. Goals of this StudyIntroduce MAGIC• Get More Active Girls inComputing!• Nationwide matching bridgebetween– Girls interested in STEM topics– Women with successfultechnology & computing careersAssess Remote Mentoring• We present the first data onremote mentoring of youngfemales in STEM– 5-year retrospective statisticalanalysis– Mentoring relationships acrossat 7 US states– 23 girls from 3 different typesof schools
  5. 5. MAGIC: Organizational Settings• Structure– Core-Team– Board Members– Mentors• Mentoring Philosophy– One-on-one mentoring– MAGIC establishes each mentor-mentee pair– Mentoring Sessions– Noteworthy final projects• Mobile app development• Tic-tac-toe• Website Development• Google SketchUp based building design
  6. 6. Methodology and Data• Data on remotementoring:2008-2013• Data Collection Points– Mentors and Mentees– School– Mentor-mentee• Collected by the core teamin a narrative fashion• Anonymized before sharingwith the key investigatorsof this studyEntity TotalMAGIC Remote Mentors 16Participating Schools 12MAGIC Mentors 23MAGIC Pairs 236
  7. 7. Results: MAGIC Mentors (Total 16)• Highest academic degrees finished– 9 doctorates, 5 masters, & 2 bachelors• During recruitment, the candidates expressed stronginterest in inspiring more girls to pursue STEM and givingback to the society and scientific community
  8. 8. Results: MAGIC Mentees (Total 23)• Partnership: 8 schools (5 public, 2 private, 1 charter),located in CA and MA• Few mentees belong to four other schools that arenot officially associated with MAGIC, but allowstudent-level participation
  9. 9. Results: Remote Mentoring Activities• Distribution of Projects– Computational based: 44%– Game/Animation/Web: 36%– Non-programming: 20%
  10. 10. Results: Remote Mentoring Challenges• At least 7 mentees and 7 mentors reported nochallenges• All the pairs successfully dealt with the challengeseither on their own or with support from the core team
  11. 11. Results: Impact on Remote Mentoring• Mentors– Positive and educational experience– Enjoyed their relationship with the young mentees– 6 offered assistance in MAGIC core and administrative activitiesand expressed interest in becoming board members– 3 did not find the relationship rewarding due to the lack ofmentees’ commitment and enthusiasm
  12. 12. Discussion: Organizational Outcomes• Accessibility– Associations with 3 different types of schools to reach out todifferent societal sections– Most mentors located in California and Massachusetts– Majority of MAGIC core & board members reside in CA and MA– Matched mentees and mentors across 7 different US states• Personalization– Mentees:• Different familial backgrounds• Diverse set of expectations–MAGIC offered tailored services• Variety of STEM skills (programming, creative, Web, conceptual)• Variety of projects (technical and interpersonal)
  13. 13. Discussion: Organizational Outcomes• Plan for Growth– Stayed small for first few years– Tens of schools and hundreds of mentees in the nextfive years– Challenge• Replicating the energy and dedication of the small board ofdirectors– Partnerships with universities, national labs, andcompanies
  14. 14. Discussion: Lessons Learnt• Popular communication tools– Skype, Google Hangout, and phone• Top learning choices– Programming, topic-based learning, and creative skills• Popular project choices– Computational and game projects, and shadowing activities• Mentors and mentees perceived different set of challenges.– Mentees: Time management and logistics– Mentors: delivery of content and social challenges• Remote mentoring made a positive impact– Mentees’ lives– Building skills and self confidence– Several mentees gained scientific visibility and significant career awareness
  15. 15. Conclusions and Future Work• Introduced our unique organization, MAGIC– Remotely yet closely engages girls to pursue STEM– Highly personalized services– Most pressing concern• Recruiting mentors and mentees who have the passion,time, and energy to help realize the vision of MAGIC• Data-driven perception on remote mentoringyoung females in STEM
  16. 16. Conclusions and Future Work• Limitations– Majority of the mentoring projects focused oncomputer programming due to the backgrounds ofour current mentors– Conduct the study with increased numbers of pairs– Diversify the mentees’ locations and interests– Study correlation between the challenges facedand the mentoring outcomes
  17. 17. Acknowledgements• Participating Schools• MAGIC Mentees and Parents• MAGIC Mentors• Sponsors (Google, Teradata, and personaldonors)

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