M-A student Audrey Ha is USAID Science Champion

by Linda Hubbard on May 17, 2020

We featured Audrey Ha during the last school year (2018-2019), when she conducted a behavioral science research project on fostering racial tolerance in U.S. high schools and won first place at the California Science and Engineering Fair. This school year (2019-2020) she conducted Phase 2, which was an international study examining how racial biases change after participants view race-related statistical data.

Audrey presented her research at the Golden Gate STEM Fair in March and earned first place in the high school behavioral science section and the USAID Science Champion Award.

“I created an online survey, and 1,313 people of all ages from six continents and 70 countries participated,” she emails. “I emailed over 600 international school principals and university sociology faculty to gain survey participants worldwide, and created social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter to share the survey link.

“After running analysis on the survey data, the results showed that worldwide, 10-15 year-olds were most open to race-related statistical data that contradicted their previous biases. The ideal age-range for tolerance education was 14-15 year-olds in more racially diverse regions, and 10-13 in less diverse regions. Overall prejudice decreased in all continents after the participants viewed statistical information, including participants in regions with less racial diversity.”

Using the insights gained from the study, Audrey, who attends Menlo-Atherton High School, developed a mobile application World Culture Deck and published it on the App Store to help students learn more about various cultures worldwide. The app contains lessons and content on traditional clothing, art, music, and fun facts about countries and groups around the world.

Photo courtesy of Audrey Ha

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