What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


NSF Video Hall & Spanish Family Code Night: ETR Makes a Movie!
June 13, 2019

NSF Video Hall & Spanish Family Code Night: ETR Makes a Movie!

By David Manuel Torres | June 13, 2019
Research Assistant, ETR

Every year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) hosts a unique virtual event—a week-long STEM for All Video Showcase. In the videos, Principal Investigators, practitioners and researchers describe federally funded projects that seek to improve and innovate within STEM education. The brief videos are posted and viewed globally. This year, I joined up with ETR Senior Research Scientist Jill Denner and Senior Editor Marcia Quackenbush to create an ETR video for the NSF showcase. 

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Tags: Research, Computer science for all, Computer science education, Videos, NSF, STEM equity, STEM education, Equity in Tech
High School Youth Design Innovative Tech Solutions for Better Mental Health
June 4, 2019

High School Youth Design Innovative Tech Solutions for Better Mental Health

By Laiah Idelson, MSPH | June 4, 2019
Strategic Partnerships & Innovation Lead, YTH Initiative, ETR

What happens when a motivated, creative group of high school juniors and seniors is asked, “How might we use technology to create an innovative solution to improve the mental health of young people?”

To answer this question, our team conducted nine workshops from January through April this year. Seventy-seven juniors and seniors at De Anza High School in Richmond, CA, joined in. 

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Tags: STEM equity, Equity in Tech, High school, Youth, Youth centered health design, STEM education, YTH Live
Research-Practice Partnerships: Sharing Data Where It Matters
May 13, 2019

Research-Practice Partnerships: Sharing Data Where It Matters

By David Manuel Torres | May 13, 2019
Research Assistant, ETR

For most people, “data” is a four-letter word—not many enjoy looking at distributions and comparing percentages. Even fewer like to do so at the end of an hour-long meeting on a Tuesday morning. It’s data. If you’re not into statistics, it can be confusing. It isn’t always clear how it’s going to be useful in the real world.

Still, there are times when data need to be discussed. 

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Tags: Digital Nest, STEM equity, Research practice partnership, Research, STEM education
Educational Equity IS Health Equity
April 25, 2019

Educational Equity IS Health Equity

By Amy Peterson, MSc | April 25, 2019
Strategic Development Manager, ETR

Educational equity is closely related to health equity. In fact I’d like to suggest that they are essentially inseparable—that educational equity isn’t merely an element of health equity, but that the two are inextricably linked. Put simply, one cannot exist without the other.

In 2014, I was among a group of colleagues who sought out a framework that would help us unify the work we were doing across ETR’s projects. We found that no existing framework covered all the aspects of our work so we adapted, developed and iterated to create ETR’s Health Equity Framework (HEF). 

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Tags: K12T9, Title IX, Health Equity Framework, School health, STEM equity, Equity, Educational equity, Health equity
8 Tips for Creating a Digital Badging System: Recognize, Encourage and Affirm Youth Who Build Tech Skills
March 4, 2019

8 Tips for Creating a Digital Badging System: Recognize, Encourage and Affirm Youth Who Build Tech Skills

By Shannon Campe | March 4, 2019
Program Manager, ETR

What do you know about badges? I’m not talking about the patch you sew on your Girl Scout vest when you’ve completed your Space Science Explorer requirements. I’m talking about digital badges that people can share widely online.

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Tags: Digital Nest, STEM, STEM equity, STEM education
STEM Education and Youth Who are Disabled: We're Overdue for Inclusivity
December 11, 2018

STEM Education and Youth Who are Disabled: We're Overdue for Inclusivity

By Linda Kekelis, PhD | December 11, 2018
Advisor, STEM Next Opportunity Fund

We need to build greater diversity in STEM education. Like a lot of my colleagues, I’ve worked to create programs welcoming more girls and youth of color into STEM. We’ve made good progress, and we are creating positive momentum.

But one group that continues to be overlooked, even within strong and established programs, is youth who are disabled. 

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Tags: Parent engagement, Diversity and inclusion, STEM equity, STEM education
Equity in STEM: It Takes More Than Individual Determination
October 9, 2018

Equity in STEM: It Takes More Than Individual Determination

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | October 9, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

The mainstream culture in the U.S. values independence. As a nation, we esteem individual actions and view them as paths to success. “Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” is an admirable trait.

However, that focus is not the full picture. 

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Tags: Health Equity Framework, STEM equity, STEM education, Equity in Tech
Reflections, Connections, Enthusiasm and One Really Great Luncheon!
July 24, 2018

Reflections, Connections, Enthusiasm and One Really Great Luncheon!

Emily Green, MA | July 24, 2018
Research Associate, ETR

ETR is a distributed workforce. This means we have four sites spread over three cities, along with a team of remote workers spread all over the country. This helps strengthen our ability to reach different populations and bring talented people on board who wouldn’t be able to commute to one of our physical offices.

If you work in the field of Equity and Inclusion in STEM, you’ll recognize this as a structural model that encourages greater diversity in a workforce.

By Emily Green, MA
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Tags: Mentoring, Inspiration, Equity in tech, Equity
Work Is Not the Enemy of Education: Let's Consider Stackable Credentials
May 31, 2018

Work Is Not the Enemy of Education: Let's Consider Stackable Credentials

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | May 31, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

What comes first for young adults? Education? Or Work?

In this culture, we usually view education and work as sequential stages rather than part of a mutually enhancing cycle. Our ideal seems to be that secondary and post-secondary students need to focus on school and should not be working during the school year. At the same time, we expect education to give students skills they will need in the workplace.

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Tags: Equity in Tech, Diversity in technology, Technology education
Coding Boot Camps: Wish They'd Existed When I Was Studying Computer Science
March 1, 2018

Coding Boot Camps: Wish They'd Existed When I Was Studying Computer Science

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | February 28, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Why bother learning to write computer code? That’s a question I used to asked myself. I believe that many women are still asking this question. They don’t perceive the value of coding until they get into the workforce and discover a host of ways coding can increase the impact of their work.

This is just one more reason we should celebrate, support and advocate for the improvement of alternative computer science (CS) training grounds such as coding boot camps.

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD
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Tags: Coding boot camps, Computer science education, Diversity in technology
The Importance of Community Colleges in Diversifying Computing
February 8, 2018

The Importance of Community Colleges in Diversifying Computing

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | February 8, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Finally! More and more attention is shifting to the fact that community colleges could play a critical role in diversifying computing fields.

The National Science Foundation and Google have given momentum to this movement by funding and hosting a workshop, the “Authentic Inclusion of Community Colleges in Broadening Participation in Computing.” It was held January 30-February 1, 2018, at the Google headquarters. 

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD
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Tags: STEM equity, STEM equity, Community college, Diversity in technology, Computer science education
Parent Engagement: Key for Girls in STEM
November 9, 2017

Parent Engagement: Key for Girls in STEM

From an interview with Linda Kekelis, PhD | October 26, 2017
Principal, Linda Kekelis Consulting

We need girls in tech. We need women in tech. We need women and underrepresented minorities across all areas of STEM. There are good reasons for this, reasons that benefit society, industry, the economy and international competitiveness.

But for me, one of the most persuasive is simply that girls and women deserve the freedom and opportunity offered by access to STEM fields.

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Tags: Girls in tech, Computer science education, Parent engagement, Technology education, K-12, STEM equity
Tech Guy Makes Good: More Substance, Less Tedium in Data Analysis
September 18, 2017

Tech Guy Makes Good: More Substance, Less Tedium in Data Analysis

By David Manuel Torres | September 18, 2017
Research Assistant, ETR

I have always been really interested in technology. In elementary school, I looked forward to “computer lab” days where the class would spend an hour at the school’s small, modular classroom by the lunch area. We got to play computer games meant to develop our typing skills. After one of these computer lab days, the instructor pulled me aside and told me that she wanted me to help her install new mice on all the classroom computers in the school.

I was filled with pride. In the days following, I eagerly knocked on each classroom door and went in to unplug the old mechanical mice and install fancy new optical laser ones.

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Tags: data analysis, Teamwork, Technology, Pair programming, Technology education, Research
What's an Economics and Politics Student Doing at ETR?
September 7, 2017

What's an Economics and Politics Student Doing at ETR?

By Chris Connelly | September 7, 2017
Former Data Core Intern, ETR

Not many people would align my professional goals with those of a non-profit. I’m majoring in Economics and Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After graduation, I plan to earn a Masters in Applied Economics and Finance. Then—law school. I want to use my knowledge of economics and law to work as a corporate attorney.

So why did someone like me choose ETR for an internship?

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Tags: data, internship, Evaluation, Research
Big Ideas at the Heart of Educational Equity: 5 Key Considerations
August 24, 2017

Big Ideas at the Heart of Educational Equity: 5 Key Considerations

By Chris Harrison, EdD | August 24, 2017
Program Manager, ETR

“It is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.”

 ~Sankofa, Akan tribe of Ghana

 

This is a true story. Picture, if you will, a young student “at-promise,” starting his first day of middle school. His name is Michael. He is excited about reconnecting with friends, meeting his new teachers and finding his way around his middle school.

But right after school begins Michael calls his mother and exclaims, “Mom, you have to come and get me because they have me in detention. They won’t let me go to class!”

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Tags: K-12, educational equity, equity
The "Pipeline" to CS Careers: The Metaphor is Wrong
August 22, 2017

The "Pipeline" to CS Careers: The Metaphor is Wrong

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | August 22, 2017
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Imagine a high school student who loves technology. She’s decided to pursue a career in computer science (CS). What steps will take her forward from school to career?

Planning for these steps is an essential part of the educational process, both for individual students and for educational institutions. Unfortunately, the current ways most institutions are thinking about the CS pipeline—or even the more flexible model of pathways—aren’t workable for a lot of students. 

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Tags: Computer science education, Diversity in technology, Community college, Technology education
Peace Through Public Health
August 1, 2017

Peace Through Public Health

By Love Odetala, MPH | August 1, 2017
Kirby Summer Intern, ETR

I was born in West Africa and grew up in Senegal.

In Senegal, “Jamm Rekk” is a commonly used phrase. It means “Peace Only,” a phrase we use to pass peace unto others and to accept peace in return. Simply a way of saying hello.

A couple years ago, I started a venture called Jamm Rekk Projects (JRP). These are projects that seek to promote peace through public health.

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Tags: Youth empowerment, Gender equity, Kirby internship, International health, Adolescent health
Gender Differences in Math Ability: What's the Science Say?
April 25, 2017

Gender Differences in Math Ability: What's the Science Say?

By Katrina Hunter | April 25, 2017
Research Assistant, ETR

I was in a college calculus course. We were learning how to use quadrants and angles to solve functions.

People can either solve the function visually, or by calculating out their answer. As we were going through different problems, I was using the visual method to solve the function. My instructor commented that it was good that I could solve the equation that way, and that it was rare for women to be able to visualize the solutions. 

By Katrina Hunter
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Tags: Research, Education research, STEM equity, STEM education, STEM, Gender, math education
What Students Say: Taking Community College Pathways to Computer Science Degrees
December 1, 2016

What Students Say: Taking Community College Pathways to Computer Science Degrees

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | December 1, 2016
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Why isn’t the tech field more diverse? And what can we do to change that?

One of the challenges is the so-called “pipeline” issue. We don’t have enough women and underrepresented minority students pursuing, and then completing, computer science degrees. That means we don’t have enough trained and skilled professionals to do all of the work that needs doing.

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD
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Tags: Diversity in technology, Computer science education, Community college, Underrepresented populations
Preparing Students for Information Technology Careers: The Role of Career Technical Education
November 28, 2016

Preparing Students for Information Technology Careers: The Role of Career Technical Education

By Jill Denner, PhD | November 28, 2016
Senior Research Scientist, ETR

Vocational education is making a comeback! Nationally, we are seeing new attention being brought to career-technical education (CTE). Revitalized efforts are seeking to provide students the mix of technical training and academics that will prepare them for real-world, 21st century careers. We expect this trend to continue.

Computer science skills—including the ability to code—play a role in a number of the established CTE pathways

By Jill Denner, PhD
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Tags: Diversity in technology, Technology education, K-12, Community college, Tech industry

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