New Image for Computing

March 1st, 2008 - August 31st, 2011 | PROJECT

The WGBH Educational Foundation together with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and dozens of partners, proposes a major new initiative to reshape the image of computing among college-bound high school students, with a special focus on Latina girls and African-American boys. Image is seen as an important factor in the lack of interest in computing majors among high school and college students, who often see computer scientists as geeks and nerds with boring jobs and equally boring lives. Latina girls and African-American boys--among the most underrepresented groups in computing--represent particularly important and challenging audiences. The New Image for Computing project will research and design a "communications make-over"--a new set of messages that will accurately and positively portray the field and will be widely tested for their emotional appeal to and intellectual connection with the targeted audiences. Experienced marketing professionals will help create the messaging campaign using proven marketing and communications strategies. WGBH, a leading producer of programming for public television and non-broadcast educational media, is uniquely positioned to lead this initiative, as they have a current, similar project called Engineer Your Life that aims to encourage academically prepared high school girls to consider engineering as an attractive option for both post-secondary education and as a career choice.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Dot Diva pilot test results

Team Members

Julie Benyo, Principal Investigator, WGBH
John White, Co-Principal Investigator, Association of Computing Machinery


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: BPC
Award Number: 0753686
Funding Amount: 984898


Access and Inclusion: English Language Learners | Women and Girls
Audience: Museum | ISE Professionals | Undergraduate | Graduate Students | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Computing and information science | Nature of science | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Community Outreach Programs | Media and Technology | Public Programs