"This program provides a well-rounded platform. It provides the girls with collegial experiences, network opportunities, and creative work time. It broadens their perspective of the STEM field."

-- Christina Ramirez, Mentor Teacher

Program Type

Hands on/Project-Based

Target Audience



Low Socio-Economic Status




Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Accomplished link

Program Impact

By the end of the program, girls’ understanding of themselves as potential participants in the digital community grows. No matter how challenging, girls gain a greater sense of empowerment with their activities while maintaining a strong sense of commitment to communities, increasing their feelings of connectedness. CompuGirls provides an attractive counterculture that economically challenged schools tend not to offer; participants enjoy being a part of this informal educational setting, think of it as a privilege and learn how to integrate their new comfort with technology into their current and future academic pursuits.


Program Overview

CompuGirls is a culturally responsive technology program for adolescent (grades 8-12) girls from under-resourced school districts in the Greater Phoenix area and in Colorado.

Supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and based in the School of Social Transformation, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University, CompuGirls provides fun summer, after-school and year-long programs where participants learn the latest technologies in digital media, game development, and virtual worlds.

CompuGirls program objectives:

  • To use multimedia activities as a means of encouraging computational thinking
  • To enhance girls' techno-social analytical skills using culturally relevant practices
  • To provide girls with a dynamic, fun learning environment that nurtures the development of a positive self-concept

CompuGirls participants develop expertise in:

  • digital media production with photo editing software
  • documentary filmmaking with iMovie
  • podcasting with Garageband
  • game design with Scratch
  • virtual world creation with open-sim technology
How To Get Involved

In addition to providing financial support, CompuGirls offers engagement opportunities to individuals who are interested in helping with our STEM SYSTAH SPEAKER SERIES, an opportunity for individuals to share their personal STEM journey while growing up female.  For those looking for a more enduring relationship with program participants, CompuGirls is working to create a WOMENTOR/WOMENTEE PROGRAM in an effort to cultivate much needed personal and professional support for those young women who wish to pursue further education or professional endeavors in the STEM field. In its current iteration, CompuGirls costs approximately $2500/participant.  With enough funding, the program could introduce hundreds of young women across four states to the possibilities that abound in STEM.

Funders and Partners

CompuGirls is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation. Since 2007, CompuGirls has reached hundreds of young women and is looking to establish sites in additional states, including California and Virginia.  Beyond scaling to additional locations, CompuGirls anticipates enhancement of its current curriculum to include a co-robotics’ component in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Williams of Marquette University, as well modernizing some of the online resources the girls use in the original three courses.  


Kimberly A. Scott, Director

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.