Designing Gender-Inclusive STEM Learning Media for Children

Using coding kits for young children as a case study, we are exploring the design of gender-inclusive STEM learning media for young girls. By drawing on children’s gendered preferences for different toy features reported in the literature, such as toy colors, physical forms, and activities, we examined the distribution of these gendered design features and communication in coding kits. This examination revealed that current coding kits are dominated by masculine-oriented design features, highlighting the need to specifically design for young girls. Extending this preliminary work, we are working on projects to understand how young girls perceive the gender orientations conveyed by the different design features in coding kits, identify the design features that young girls desire for coding kits, and develop actionable guidelines for designing gender-inclusive STEM learning media for young girls.

Relevant Publications

Examining Gender-oriented Design Features in Computational Toys and Kits for Young Children [LINK]
Jingyao Cen, Tian Xu & Junnan Yu
In Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’23), Hamburg, Germany.

Examining Gendered Communications of Coding Kits for Young Children [LINK]
Jingyao Cen & Junnan Yu
In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’23), Chicago, IL, USA.