Our work is situated in research on Computer Science (CS) learning in informal learning environments and literature on the factors that influence girls to enter CS. In this article, we outline design choices around the creation of a summer programming camp for middle school youth. In addition, we describe a near-peer mentoring model we used that was influenced by Bandura's self-efficacy theory. The purpose of this article, apart from promoting transparency of program design, was to evaluate the effectiveness of our camp design in terms of increasing youths’ interest, self-efficacy beliefs, and perceptions of parental support. We found significant gains for all three of these concepts. Additionally, we make connections between our design choices (e.g., videos, peer support, mentor support) and the affective gains by thematically analyzing interview data concerning the outcomes found in our camps.
ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) – Association for Computing Machinery
Published: Aug 2, 2019
Keywords: Informal CS learning environments
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