The Role of Software in Providing Funding for After-School Programs; The Role of Care Ethics in Developing Successful After-School Programs

Hassan, Nadia, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ibrahim, Ahmed, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Laugelli, Benjamin, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

My technical work and my STS research center on the use of software systems in successful after-school programs. My technical project involves the creation of a software system for the After-School Association of America (ASAA) to manage applications for funding after-school programs. My STS paper focuses on a specific software implementation in an after school program to assist children’s learning of historical traditions in Japan. While my technical work and STS research differ in the purposes of the software developed to benefit after-school programs, both projects are significant in understanding the role of software in facilitating the creation and maintenance of after-school programs in order to deter children from engaging in harmful activities during after-school hours.

For my technical project, my capstone team worked alongside the founder of ASAA to create a funding application processing system based on our client’s specifications. The software incorporates different user classes and allows for users (schools and students) to submit applications for funding. Members of the organization are able to manage submitted applications, create new applications or edit existing applications, mark applications as approved or denied, manage funds, and create or delete user accounts. They can also export data on applicant demographics and funding allocated, leave comments, and directly message other users. The goal of this system is to provide the organization with a means to process applications quickly and provide funding to a greater number of after-school programs as part of the organization’s effort to combat youth gang involvement increasing participation in after-school programs.

My STS research delves into the development and launch of an application as a resource for teachers and community residents from various areas in Japan in their efforts to teach schoolchildren the local historical and cultural traditions. The integration of information and communications technology into educational activities has the potential to reduce the workload of older residents to pass down information to children by providing a means to incorporate their wisdom of the areas through written and video commentary. My claim is that the use of technology in after-school programs stems from care between members of the community for one another and for the historical traditions within the area such that residents of the society and children are committed to developing the community and in turn less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as gang affiliation, drug use, and violent crimes. The objective of my research is to highlight the importance of the reasons behind integration of software in creating after-school programs for children and how we can improve these programs through a common sense of care and positive relationships between individuals involved in the program.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work on both projects at the same time. My technical project allowed me to implement a system to help ASAA manage funding for after-school programs. Additionally, I was able to conduct my research for my STS paper to gain insight into how the issue of youth gang membership is prevalent in communities not just in the U.S. but all over the world, as exemplified by the Japanese mobile application case. In this way, my STS research enabled me to understand the value of fostering the children’s connection to their community through successful technical tools. Therefore, my research encouraged me to contribute to ASAA’s initiatives by building the best software system I could for my technical project. Therefore, working on both my STS research paper and my technical project simultaneously over the course of the year has enabled me to examine software usage in after-school programs in different contexts and see how the projects build off one another.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
after-school program, software, care ethics

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Technical Advisor: Ahmed Ibrahim

STS Advisor: Benjamin Laugelli

Technical Team Members: Victor Cruz, Siddharth Ghatti, Tae Whoan Lim, Jack Durning

Issued Date: