The rise of the DIY maker movement and the recent accessibility of tools (open source software and hardware) formerly only available in engineering labs allow anyone that is determined to design and build their own products. Our programs inspire and support girls in 4th-12th grade so that they are able to participate in this movement and future economy.
DIY GIrls invenT Girls
Invent Girls is a DIY Girls initiative that empowers our girls to identify and prototype technical solutions to issues they encounter in their communities. The initiative challenges girls to think critically about issues in their community by leading them through the design thinking process to build real prototypes of products and services that can improve the problem. State of the art technology and “making” of products is central to the project and the girls between grades 9-12 invent real products to solve issues affecting their community. In 2016, our group of girls at San Fernando High School invented a portable shelter prototype that collapses into a backpack, uses renewable solar energy to power basic electrical devices, uses UVC LEDs to sanitize the interior, and protects against Los Angeles’ desert climate with insulating materials. The girls traveled to MIT in June 2017 to present their invention at EurekaFest. Their invention has been featured in media outlets like CBS LA, the Huffington Post, and Mashable. The project was also featured in the presentation “How An All-Girls Team Address Homelessness”, delivered by two of our alumnae at TEDxCollegePark.
Statement on solar-powered backpack tent for the homeless: The project our 2016-2017 InvenTeam created was a prototype and it was developed as a part of the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam challenge. There are no official plans to have it mass produced, patented, and/or available to the public for sale. Due to the heavy volume of media requests we receive, we sincerely regret that we are not able to respond to all inquiries or accommodate interviews regarding this project.
View our Invent Girls teams below:
2017-2018 Invent Girls (Forthcoming)
2018-2019 Invent Girls (Forthcoming)
Our Creative Electronics Program introduces elementary aged girls to technology and engineering through engagement in hands-on projects and valuable exposure to various engineering disciplines through making and design. The after-school programs consist of hands-on projects where girls will design and build projects that encourage girls to expand their technical skills and community and team building activities that will create a strong sense of belonging to a supportive community of girls interested in technology.
Our Coding Program introduces middle school aged girls to computer science within the context of the visual arts. In this course, students practice computational thinking skills and learn the fundamentals of coding to create unique artwork. These lessons incorporate unplugged and online activities that build connections between coding concepts and apply them to sketches. Along with hard skills in coding, students learn the processes and mindsets of a computer programmer. Students learn to approach failure as an opportunity, collaborate with peers on writing and reviewing code, and tap into their own creativity without reservations.
Our Camps Program is designed to provide continuity and bridge the learning gap for girls who do not have access to supplemental enrichment resources outside of school. This consistency is important for their skills retention and to foster continued interest in STEM. The courses are led by coaches and industry professional volunteers who not only have skills in their craft but also a desire and dedication to the participation of females in their profession. We offer a new curriculum and workshops during the winter, spring, and summer academic break periods of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The topics have included biomedical engineering, woodworking, and creative coding.
GANAS (Girls Action Network And Support)
GANAS is our alumni-led group that aims to develop a strong support network for current and past DIY GIRLS. GANAS aims to continue building a supportive and inclusive STEM community by hosting networking events and providing professional and academic support to our college students.