Dr. Jill Denner to give Series of Presentations on Engaging Youth in Computational Thinking and Computer Game Programming

Dr. Jill Denner, Associate Director of Research at ETR Associates, will be giving a series of presentations throughout North America in early 2011 on computational thinking and computer game programming for youth. Dr. Denner has conducted extensive research at ETR Associates focused on increasing the number of women and underrepresented minorities in computing. Her upcoming presentation series includes the following:

Game Developers Conference, San Francisco, California (February 28, 2011): Dr. Denner will present research from nine years of teaching middle school students to program games. She will discuss using different programming environments, as well as teaching methods, and describe what students learn. She will also examine challenges and strategies for engaging girls and underrepresented minorities in computer game programming and make suggestions for new game-authoring tools.

Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico (March 28, 2011): Dr. Denner will present an overview of research on Latinos and computing in grades K through 12.

American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (April 8-12, 2011): Dr. Denner will present two talks entitled "Strategies for Engaging Middle School Students in Computational Thinking" and "Measuring Computational Thinking in Middle School Using Game Programming."

Dr. Denner has developed several after-school programs and her applied research on these programs has contributed to an understanding of effective strategies for promoting youth leadership, building youth-adult partnerships, increasing girls' confidence and capacity to produce technology, and engaging girls in information technology. Her current focus is on how students learn while creating computer games, and the development of computational thinking. As part of a long-standing commitment to bridge research and practice, her research is designed and conducted in collaboration with schools and community-based agencies. Dr. Denner has been a Principal Investigator (PI) on several NSF grants, written numerous peer-reviewed articles, and co-edited two books: Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming, published by MIT Press in 2008, and Latina Girls: Voices of Adolescent Strength in the U.S., published by NYU Press in 2006. ETR Associates' Girls Game Company, for which Dr. Denner served as co-PI, was named a 2010 Best Practice Technology Education Program by the Bayer Corporation. Dr. Denner has a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

For more information on Dr. Jill Denner or ETR Associates, please contact Matt McDowell, Vice-President of Marketing and Communications, mattm@etr.org.

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