Mentoring Opportunities Vary for Girls Who Game Participants
Dell, Microsoft and Intel employees can mentor students through the Girls Who Game program. There are different levels of mentorship, which require different time commitments and different technology, depending on what the employees can offer.
“We wanted to make sure everybody had an opportunity if they wanted to be a mentor,” Latham says. “It didn’t matter how much time they could invest.”
The mentorship opportunity with the least time commitment is asynchronous and requires mentors to create a five-minute video on Flipgrid. In the video, they describe the path they took to their current role, including exciting moments and stumbling blocks. Participating students can access all the Flipgrid videos the mentors create.
There are also panel interviews, in which three or four employees share their experiences. After watching the panel, players are encouraged to ask questions. The participating students are coached ahead of time on how to ask good questions and engage with adults in a professional manner.
The final mentorship opportunity is a one-on-one mentorship and is offered to students who have experience with the program.
“When we first started, we had so much interest that we started to double up, and we had students with multiple mentors,” Latham says.
The panel discussions and one-on-one mentorships are managed virtually using Microsoft Teams.
“We have a full-time project manager who takes care of any technical aspects on the front end,” Latham says. “Sometimes she will do a prep call with the district, and she preps the mentors as well to make sure they’re ready.”
Technology Makes Games and Mentors Accessible to K–12 Participants
Many of the participants in the Girls Who Game program have access to devices to play the games and connect with their mentors. The program provides laptops to those who need them.