Franklin, D., Conrad, P., Aldana, G., & Hough, S. (2011). Animal tlatoque: Attracting middle school students to computing through culturally-relevant themes. In Proceedings of the 42nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE '11) (pp. 453-458). Dallas: ACM.


Type: Empirical

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the development of a 2-week summer program based on culturally-relevant themes (i.e., Mayan culture and animal conservation) in an effort to attract females and Latina/os to computing.

Findings: Post survey results indicated an increase in students citing computer science as a top choice for a career, while an even larger increase from pre- to post was cited in an increased interest in computer science. Females more than males chose to attend the camp because of topic of animal/endangered species. The majority of males chose to attend the camp because of the focus with computer science. Overall, the majority of participants found the camp to be a positive experience, they learned a lot about CS, endangered species, Mayan Culture, and conservation.

Recommendations: The authors recommend that a logical extension to this program would be to attract H.S. students through social networking or cell phone applications.


Sample Size: 34

Participant Type: Elementary and middle school students

Notes: 10- Caucasian, 1- African American, 3- Asian, 17- Latino/a, 3- Native American