The Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming STEM education through technology located in Concord, MA, and Emeryville, CA, has an exciting opportunity for a Postdoctoral Researcher on the National Science Foundation-funded project “Data Science Learning Experiences for Middle School-aged Girls in Informal Gaming Clubs”!
If you’re interested in informal and game-based learning research, and excited about designing equity-oriented data science learning experiences for minoritized girls, this is a great opportunity for you to join an amazing team of learning sciences researchers, educational game designers, and middle school-aged girls.
This three-year project will engage in participatory co-design research with local organizations serving minoritized (predominantly Latina) girls to develop a multiplayer, data-rich virtual world to support meaningful, relational learning with data in a rich social context. The project summary appears at the end of this announcement.
In this position you will:
- Collaborate with principal investigators on all aspects of the project research
- Lead co-design sessions
- Coordinate and run online and face-to-face clubs
- Design informal data science instructional materials for game-based clubs
- Conduct research, including data analysis
- Write for scholarly journals
- Create presentations for academic conferences
- Travel and present at a range of conferences
To accomplish this, you will need:
- Complete your Ph.D. by spring 2023
- Must be within five years of graduating with a Ph.D. or equivalent
- Experience in designing learning experiences to support minoritized youth
- Experience in conducting research in informal, online, or club-based settings
- The ability to research and write through a critical equity lens in learning sciences and/or data science education
- Prior work with Latinx communities and fluency in Spanish are a plus
The Concord Consortium offers a rich variety of benefits, including up to four weeks’ vacation, medical and dental insurance, a generous TIAA-CREF retirement plan, and life and short- and long-term disability insurance.
Our work environment is casual and stimulating. Join us to be part of a creative community of geeks and science, math, and engineering fanatics. We have frequent technical and research discussions, sometimes including invited guests from local and distant nonprofits, tech groups, and more. We’re a creative, intelligent, happy bunch — check out our profiles.
If you are authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis for any employer, and you have the required qualifications, please send your cover letter, curriculum vitae, and a writing sample to: hrjr+PD2@concord.org.
This position will start in fall 2022 and may begin as a half-time appointment. The Concord Consortium is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person’s race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or any characteristic protected under applicable law.
Overview of Project
The project will use design-based research methods to iteratively design game-based informal data science learning experiences to support personally and socially meaningful work with data for middle school-aged girls. Through participatory co-design with girls from groups underrepresented in data science, the project will develop “The Isles of Ilkmaar,” a narratively rich, multiplayer virtual world in which the players together explore an island ecosystem, and must work to understand, earn the trust of, and ultimately to care for the islands’ unique fauna. Data is generated through players’ gameplay actions, and can be pooled with data generated by other players and by non-player characters, to become a progressively valuable and complex resource for pursuing personal and collective goals within the world. By engaging with their own gameplay data both within the game and in informal club experiences, players will learn important data science concepts and skills related to data structures, storage, exploration, analysis, and visualization. The project will also develop facilitator materials to allow adult volunteers to create game-based informal data science learning experiences for youth in their areas. The research will use a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods including surveys, focus groups, interviews, and gameplay and club observations to investigate how social, game-based learning can simultaneously support girls’ identity work and understanding of data science concepts and practices. Project evaluation will determine how gameplay and club experiences impact participants’ attitudes toward and interest in data-rich futures. The project holds the potential for broadening participation and promoting interest in data science. The results will be disseminated through conference presentations, scholarly publications, and social media. The game and facilitator materials will be designed for dissemination and made freely available to the public.