About Me Projects CV

STEM VR Office

With Christy Starr and Katie Green

STEM VR Office

Summary: This was a VR game designed to encourage women’s interest in STEM fields in the context of a psychological experiment.

Process: We created a VR office, and asked participants to explore the space while imagining that it belonged to their future self. This office was filled with various signs of success (a graduate degree, awards, works-in-progress,etc.), and customized with the participant’s name. There were two variations, one presenting a successful future in STEM and one presenting a successful future in the humanities.

Technology: The virtual environment was created in Unity and presented with an HTC Vive virtual reality headset. Surveys were presented via psychsurveys.org and analyzed using R and SPSS.

Outcomes: Participants who imagined a successful future self in the VR STEM environment reported greater feelings of belong and confidence in STEM fields. This work resulted in a presentation at the Media Preconference for the 8th Confererence of the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood in Washington, D.C. a presentation at the 4th Annual Gender & STEM Network Conference, in Eugene, O.R, and a publication in the Journal of Science Education and Technology.