The imperative to inspire young students, especially under-represented minorities and women, to pursue education and careers in STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering, (Art), and Math) fields is well known. The burning question is how to do it effectively.
For the past few years, we have been using a design activity known as a charrette as a way to introduce students to the user-centered design (UCD) process. In our “UCD Charrette,” students are given a particular design space to explore (such as user interfaces for a web site, mobile app, or a physical device). In a very short period of time (two hours or less), working in small groups, they brainstorm user needs, develop use-case scenarios, and create and present interaction designs for an application. We have run these participatory workshops with students at various levels, from middle school to graduate programs.
In this talk, we will report on our recent experiences using our UCD Charrette in a variety of outreach efforts, most especially a number of Puget Sound high schools.
Andrew Davidson is a HCDE Senior Lecturer and former high school teacher, and Elena Agapie and Kiley Sobel are HCDE PhD students. Emma Rose is a UWT Assistant Professor.