Dr. Emily Johnson (PI) and Dr. Anne Bubriski (Co-PI) were awarded a $27,169 UCF Seed Grant for the project, “emPower through Play: Participatory Design of Games for Diversity in Leadership”
Women and girls are systemically blocked from leadership roles in many employment sectors. In order to succeed individually and to create systemic change, people need access to concrete models, experiences, and strategies to develop effective leadership abilities. This pilot study will use participatory design practices to design educational leadership games with undergraduate women. The participants will include college women students at the University of Central Florida (UCF) who are mentors in the Science Leadership and Mentoring (SLAM) program. SLAM is an after-school, curriculum-based mentoring program pairing one 7th grade girl with one UCF undergraduate woman. The pilot project will result in three types of initial data that will inform future projects and strengthen planned external funding proposals. Our long-term objective is to develop a platform housing resources and interventions that address challenges and barriers to leadership at key points in the lives of girls and young women using gameful learning designed, in part, by engaged users.