BUILD IT: Girls Building Information Technology Fluency Through Design
Build IT is accessible to Girls Inc.’s 1,500 program sites that reach more than 800,000 girls annually. Studies show that the program increases girls’ interest in technology careers while combating the stereotype that such careers are primarily for men rather than women.
- Need Accomplished
- Evaluation Accomplished
- Sustainability Developing
- Replication & Scalability Accomplished
- Partnerships Accomplished
- Capacity Developing
- Challenging & Relevant Content Accomplished
- STEM Practices Accomplished
- Inspiration Accomplished
- Under-Represented Groups Accomplished
The Gap Foundation has supported Girls Inc. of Alameda County for seven years. During this time, Girls Inc. has continuously demonstrated that they are a high-quality organization with strong leadership and staff who are committed to positively impacting the lives of the girls they serve. The organization is thoughtful about how it uses its resources with a focus on efficiency and maximum positive impact. Gap Inc. employees who have volunteered with the organization over the years have spoken positively about their experience with the Girls Inc. team and the youth they serve.”
President, Gap Foundation
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy. Programs must be Accomplished () across all Design Principles, or be Developing () in a maximum of three areas.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Replication & Scalability Accomplished
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships.
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Challenging & Relevant Content Accomplished
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience.
STEM Practices Accomplished
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Under-Represented Groups Accomplished
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.
Delivered as an after-school program during the school year and at a two-week intensive summer camp, the innovative Build IT curriculum engages 100 Alameda County girls annually in technology through hands-on, project-based learning and through interactions with professionals in information technology. Girls Incorporated of Alameda County developed the Build IT program, Girls Building Information Technology Fluency Through Design, as a cornerstone of its middle-school programming. The program is divided into six units to help girls develop IT fluency with design concepts, specific technologies, and their effective use for communications. Through the Build IT curriculum, girls explore technology processes while designing original online communication tools (groups, clubhouses, blogs, websites, and their own video games). The curriculum emphasizes problem-solving and analysis along with developing technical skills. Program participants interact with IT professionals, who inform the girls about technology careers and the education needed to enter the technology workforce. Participants visit IT workplaces and experience real-life, high-tech environments. Speakers and field trips are chosen from a variety of businesses and community resources, exposing girls to the many types of careers and workplaces available, impacting girls’ positive views of women in IT careers, and increasing their perceptions that they can pursue IT careers themselves.
Funders and Partners
Build IT was developed through a partnership between SRI International and Girls Inc. of Alameda County, and scaled-up nationally through the Girls Incorporated affiliate network with funding from the National Science Foundation and the Noyce Foundation. Build IT is now accessible to Girls Inc.’s 1,500 program sites that reach more than 800,000 girls annually. Examples of program collaborators for the Girls Inc. of Alameda County affiliate include: Google, Livescribe, Yahoo!, Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), Cisco Systems, Blackrock, Life Technologies, and the San Jose Tech Museum.