NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1271459
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Balancing Acts: Managing the Tensions Inherent in Long-Term Youth-Led Projects
Eyerman, Suzanne; Hug, Sarah
Afterschool Matters, n33 p25-31 Fall 2020
For many years, Techbridge Girls focused its weekly sessions on stand-alone lessons that asked participants to develop products that fulfilled specific criteria, such as "create the bounciest rubber ball," "build the tallest paper tower," or "design the largest bubbles." These activities typically lasted one or two sessions. Recently, the organization became eager to expose participants to more comprehensive, and therefore lengthier, design experiences while also wanting to keep the projects manageable for participants, program coordinators, and teachers. How could a larger design experience be implemented so that it would still fit into the two-hour weekly timeframe, the supply budget, and the program's staffing restrictions? That is, how would Techbridge Girls manage the tensions inherent in implementing long-term projects with adolescents? This article explores how Techbridge Girls worked to stimulate long-term engagement and create opportunities for youth empowerment in semester-long community impact projects. It shows how staff and organization leaders used these long-term design projects to give participants opportunities for problem solving, critical thinking, and youth agency. Interview and focus group protocols emphasized the community impact projects that are the subject of this article. Though data was collected for all five years of the initiative from all sites, the analysis in this article relies on data from the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years and on data from six sites.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A