This year, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena awarded 30 of our girls scholarships to attend a summer program on its campus. With the support of generous donors we were able to provide a bus and a chaperone to get the girls to the Art Center each day. 

The following was written by DIY Girls program assistant, Verenice Martinez. She accompanied the girls each day to the Art Center and shared the experience.

Girls Gain STEAM This Summer

Working for DIY Girls, I get to see the excitement that girls express when they figure out how something works and when they get to explore something new. This summer, I rode a bus for a week 26 miles each way to and from Pasadena with a group of our middle school girls so that they could take courses at a world-renowned institution for free! I had the opportunity to observe them during their classes and witnessed the impact it had on them. They learned about architecture, design, self-portraiture, comic book storytelling and photography - all art skills that we think are important to integrate with our STEM programs.  The girls were fortunate to explore the “A” in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) and I’d like to personally thank the Art Center of Pasadena for providing this great opportunity.

In the Imagination Workshop, the girls were so excited to tell me how they were challenged to draw characters by just using shapes. After each class, they couldn't wait to tell me how they drew from still life and live models to create characters. Every day the girls had a new drawing and were eager to show me their new work.  

As a part of Comic Book Storytelling course, the girls learned to ideate storylines, created characters, learned to build focus on characters by shading and outlining to build their own comics.

Architecture allowed the girls to think and explore more about the interior and exterior of their ideal homes. I was able to see their creations come to life daily as they carried their projects with them. I saw them develop spaces that reflect in their personalities.

In Photography, girls explored their surroundings and were encouraged to be outdoors. They each created a personal photography book with photos based on a theme of their choice. One girl took initiative to ask her parents to go out to take pictures and as a result spent the day on a family outing to a Japanese Garden!

In the Self Portraiture class I watched a girl discover a talent she didn’t know she had. She learned contrasting techniques and learned to capture expressions. Watching her light up at seeing her own talent and how excited she was to go to every class was priceless.

The week at the Art Center was a success and all of the girls were so grateful for the experience. Most of them are currently enrolled in our Creative Coding camp where they are learning Processing, a language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts.