Dan River Information Technology Academy (DRITA)

August 15th, 2006 - July 31st, 2011 | PROJECT

This proposal, the "Dan River Information Technology Academy (DRITA)," is a request for a three-year program for high school students from underserved populations who are interested in pursuing IT or STEM careers. The overall goal of DRITA is to provide opportunities for promising African American or Hispanic youth to (1) develop solid Information Technology skills and (2) acquire the background and encouragement needed to enable them to pursue higher education in STEM fields, including IT itself and other fields in which advanced IT knowledge is needed. A total of 96 students will be recruited over the course of the three years. Each DRITA participant will receive 500 hours of project-based content. The project includes both school-year modules and a major summer component. Delivery components will include a basic IT skills orientation; content courses in areas such as animation, virtual environment modeling, advanced networking, programming, GIS, robotics, and gaming design; externships; a professional conference/trade show "simulation," and college/career counseling. Parent involvement is an integral part of the program and includes opportunities for parents to learn from participants, joint college visits, and information sessions and individual assistance in the college admission process.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Dan River Information Technology Academy (DRITA) Summative Evaluation

Team Members

Julie Brown, Principal Investigator, Institute for Advanced Learning & Research
Elizabeth Nilsen, Former Principal Investigator, Institute for Advanced Learning & Research
Maurice Ferrell, Former Principal Investigator, Institute for Advanced Learning & Research


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ITEST
Award Number: 0624728
Funding Amount: 898136


Access and Inclusion: Black | African American Communities | Ethnic | Racial | Hispanic | Latinx Communities
Audience: Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Computing and information science | Nature of science | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Afterschool Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Public Programs | Summer and Extended Camps