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Steven Worker, Ph.D.

steven worker university of californiaSteven Worker, Ph.D.
University of California
Phone: 415-761-1020
Email: (click to contact)

Dr. Worker is a 4-H Youth Development Advisory for Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties. He conducts extension education and applied research around youth development, informal STEM and computer science education, and volunteer development.

Research activities focus on adapting, piloting, and evaluating youth development program models that integrate culturally relevant practices to engage culturally diverse youth, empower youth through consequential STEM and computer science learning, and support volunteer educators in improving their pedagogical practices to improve program quality. Recent projects have included youth participatory action research, developing curricula to strengthen young people’s computational thinking and positive ethnic-racial identity through computer science education, and promoting high school student college readiness through mentorships with college students and professionals.

Programmatically, Dr. Worker provides academic leadership to 4-H clubs, summer camps, college readiness, teenagers-as-teachers, and youth participatory action research programs facilitated by 600 adult volunteers serving over 3,000 youth. Dr. Worker also chairs the North Bay Science Discovery Day, a free annual festival to spark young people’s curiosity for STEM learning.

Steven's Fellowship Work

Project Page: Computer science education curriculum development to support Black and Latina girls develop computational thinking and positive ethnic-racial identity

Young people of color face many challenges. STEM fields – and even more so CS fields – face persistent disparities for women, Latinos, and Black people; the CS workforce is 75% male and 90% White or Asian (McAlear et al., 2018; NSB, 2018; Xue & Larson, 2015). Across many CS companies, women of color comprise 1% or less of all employees (Evans & Rangarajan, 2017) while Black and Latino employees are 8-9% (EEOC, 2016). The consequences are a less robust workforce, Potential Solution: Focus on Identity to Strengthen Computer Science Education. The authors propose to develop an innovative CS curriculum to include experiential learning activities that integrate STEM, computational and ethnic-racial identity development. Learning about computer science, in combination with authentic learning experiences, and a focus on identity development, has potential to improve motivation and aspirations for sustained study in CS (and STEM more broadly).