Investigating the Role of Being a Mentor as a way of increasing interest in Computer Science

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

The 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE-2016)


Association for Computing Machinery

Publication Date



In order to affect career decisions, it is important to reach youth at early ages. While some have focused on using mentors in order to successfully teach mentees, few have focused on the benefits to the mentors themselves. To our knowledge, no other research has been conducted on the effect that serving as a near-peer mentor has on increasing the mentors' interest, self-efficacy, value-beliefs, and skills in computer science. Our paid mentorships provided youth two weeks of participation in computer science camps using App Inventor. The mentors in our pilot study increased self-efficacy and interest after the mentoring activity, on average. This all-female mentoring experience provided opportunities to transcend barriers such as negative stereotyping and lack of role models. We feel that being able to reach high school girls at a critical stage makes this pedagogical approach ideal. The positive results, even with the short duration of the intervention, are encouraging.

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