Build IT is an after school and summer youth-based curriculum for middle school
girls to develop IT fluency, interest in mathematics, and knowledge of IT careers.
This problem-based curriculum capitalizes on girls' interest in design and communication
technologies and incorporates performance tasks for IT fluency assessment. Build IT
provides structured interactions with IT professionals, including having girls
participate in engineering design and development teams. Build IT's use of the
design process, assessment system, co-design for development, and a train-the-trainer
approach to building STEM capacity in informal learning provides strategies for
practitioners and opportunities for research.
Build IT's goals are to
- motivate middle school girls to use technology and to build their technology fluency.
- increase middle school girls' interest in and desire to take high school algebra, geometry,
and computer science courses in preparation for postsecondary STEM education and/or careers.
- increase middle school girls' interest in IT and pursuing IT careers.
- enhance staff capacity to provide IT fluency programming.
View the PBS-produced
video of Build IT in action
This website provides several paths into the curriculum materials:
For educators, you may want to start with the links below that guide managers and
facilitators into the materials. Then explore the rest of the site: Curriculum, Program Resources,
Your Staff, and About Build IT.
For researchers, you may want to go to About Build IT first to read the research papers
and presentations. Then explore the rest of the site: Curriculum, Program Resources, Your Staff,
and the links for managers and facilitators.
- What technology do you need? (1) one computer (PC or Mac) with high speed Internet
access for every 2-3 participants; (2) LCD projector; and (3) computers should all have
a minimum of 50 MB of hard disk space and 64 MB of RAM.
- How do you recruit IT Professionals? Each unit MUST include a minimum of two
interactions with IT professionals through visits or field trips. These encounters
are critical for encouraging youth's interest in IT careers.
- How does Build IT fit in at your site? Find tips about implementing Build IT at your
specific site in Site Scenarios.
- How do you support your staff in implementing Build IT? Staff will need one or two
professional development sessions per unit, curriculum discussions, and occasional
support with girls on high-technology days.
- Where do you begin with the curriculum? You'll want to be very familiar with the
curriculum before you lead a session with the girls. Take time read the preparation
sections and do the activity your self before
- What materials will you need? Each session provides a detailed list of suggested
materials for the activity including technology and any background information you'll
need to lead the lesson.
Remember to check the technology before you begin each session!
- How do you recruit girls? Check out the recruitment materials and advice from
other Girls Inc. affiliates on how to recruit girls to Build IT. Learn more...
- How do you engage girls? Understanding girls' familiarity with technology and
design will help you structure the program to work well for you and them.