STEM For Girls
Developed in collaboration with Quest Alliance, IBM STEM for Girls (SFG) is a digital fluency and 21st Century skills curriculum designed to help girls in government secondary schools break gender stereotypes and explore the possibilities of STEM-enabled careers.
Quest Alliance collaborated with Ooloi Labs to digitize the SFG curriculum on the P-Tech platform.
∙ Girls - secondary school ∙ 14-18 years old
∙ Rural ∙ Semi urban ∙ Urban
The program has a reach in 10 Indian states. Content produced in English, Hindi and Kannada.
The thematic areas are identified as
Self and identity - Gender
21st century and scientific literacy skills / STEM
Coding / Technology + Computational Thinking
Research-driven and learner-centered approach
In this program, there were multiple stakeholders involved. The design thinking/human-centered design approach helped us understand the audience types and the needs of the project. It enabled constructive methods to be successfully executed in new and powerful ways. It helped us build user personas, journey maps, lesson plans and build content and publishing frameworks.
Testing and iteration
To ensure the content produced works for the target audience and in the given context, it is essential to get quick feedback from learners and other stakeholders. We built this curriculum through constant testing with the end users to make sure the content and the system is received well.
Design for Self-learning
With the P-tech platform, there was an opportunity to leverage technology to enhance the learning experience of the users. Self-directed learning can be facilitated through instructions that are supporting elements which aid learners in developing knowledge and skills. These instructions can be imparted by- modelling desired behaviour, providing explanations about concepts with illustrations, providing content through videos and interactive assessments formats and gradually withdrawing instructor support to pave the way for learner independence.
Experiential learning is a process through which learners develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside a traditional academic setting.
ABL describes a range of pedagogical approaches. Its core premise is the requirement that learning should be based on doing some experiments and activities throughout the course. The idea of activity-based learning is rooted in the common notion that learners are active rather than passive recipients of information. If the learners are provided the optimum learning environment then the learning becomes long-lasting.
Experiential learning and ABL also includes pedagogies like project based learning, scenario-based learning, learning through stories and storytelling, peer learning and more.
The users of the content were students in rural and semi-urban schools. Due to the COVID protocol, we couldn't be on the field and conduct an ethnographic study of our users. Nevertheless, we conducted the study online in 3 parts -
Preliminary study of the audience preferences
Testing sample content with a small sample size
Pilot 1 with 120 students across the country
Strategy for content
Some of the tasks during this stage were -
Converting research inputs into usable insights
Mapping similarities across the inputs to articulate a common guideline
Develop methods to incorporate using the existing technologies
Detail out some rough ideas and possible solutions that take us closer to our overall goal.
Defining the most optimal structure that can run through all modules
Content optimisation, Storyboarding and Visual design
This stage included -
Breaking down the concept into small chunks.
Introducing activities, reflections or journaling after every concept.
Explaining the concept through real life stories. Our research with students helped us understand that students relate the most to these stories. Keeping the characters real eg: A character in the activity displays gender stereotypes all the while facing gender stereotypes herself.
Our research showed us that students engage well when there is an element of gamification, and they are able to remember concepts more easily as the recall value through a game is greater.
Adding visuals that are relatable to the audience profile is the final stage of the process