Computationally enhanced craft items have created a new genre of educational toys and construction kits. Previous work shows that such activities increase interest in STEM particularly among female audiences . However, there are few affordable kits for children, and current projects leave room for improvement. Many kits provide "cookie cutter" projects that call for blind following of instructions. Additionally, they market to girls with stereotyped branding (e.g. using colors like pink or activities like baking) and with preconceived ideas about their interests. We are working to expose these concepts in gender-neutral ways that encourage creativity and resourcefulness. The Invent-abling project, outlined in this paper, addresses gender inequality in STEM learning tools by exploring how aesthetics, materials, applications, and learning styles, impact girls' engagement with educational materials.
|Title of host publication||IDC '13 Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children|
|Place of Publication||New York, NY, USA|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|