Does It Work?
It’s still early days for Finch’s research: She’s collaborating with six different teachers to implement Luminous Science in their science, art, and computing classes.
Since the project’s kickoff this fall, hundreds of students in two different schools have produced a range of beautiful creations, and the anecdotal evidence suggests that offering different avenues for computer science engagement can help extend participation in, and passion for, the field among girls and other underrepresented populations.
As Finch gathers empirical data as part of her doctoral research, her lens will be tightly focused on how students bring their scientific-artistic-computational ideas to life, and what they learn in the process. Analyzing all this information will guide iterative improvements to the curriculum and programmable tools used in the project.
Luminous Science is a project of the Laboratory for Playful Computation, directed by me at the University of Colorado Boulder’s ATLAS Institute. It is funded by a gift from Oracle Academy.