Wellesley College Hosts Workshop Aimed at Teaching Middle Schoolers About Healthy Social Media Use

The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) and the computer science department at Wellesley College recently teamed up to host a workshop for middle school students about social media’s impact on their lives and how to use it in a healthy way. The workshop was held at the Dr. Phillip O. Coakley Middle School in Norwood, Massachusetts.

Thirteen sixth- through eighth- graders attended the workshop, which was run by Linda Charmaraman, senior research scientist at WCW, and Catherine Delcourt, assistant professor of computer science. Throughout the workshop, the participating students engaged in discussions on how apps are created and learned about basic coding concepts. They also contributed to the design of a research-based app Dr. Charmaraman and Dr. Delcourt are developing to teach middle school students about healthy social media use.

“Early adolescents are particularly vulnerable to behavioral and mental health risks that can be heightened by social media use,” said Dr. Charmaraman “This collaboration allows us to put our research into action, providing tools to support healthier social media use and simultaneously engaging with students, teachers, counselors, and parents while we examine the role of technology in our lives.”

Dr. Charmaraman has been with WCW since 2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and interdisciplinary field studies, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in human development and education, all from the University of California, Berkeley.

Prior to joining the Wellesley faculty, Dr. Delcourt worked for Yik Yak, a college-based hyperlocal anonymous social networking app. She holds three degrees in computer science: a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. both from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Filed Under: STEM FieldsWomen's Colleges


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