Teaching girls creative electronics, coding and making
*** On Tuesday, December 3rd, Indiegogo contribute $1 for every $20 we raised for #GivingTuesday. We a $20 perk level for this day. Thanks to all of our supporters we raised $2557 on that day and received a $128 match from Indiegogo.
Hi, I'm Luz Rivas, an MIT-trained engineer and founder of DIY Girls. In 2012, I went back to my elementary school, a public school in the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles to start the DIY Girls afterschool program. The school provided a classroom and together with volunteers, friends and teachers, I converted it into a makerspace where we serve 30 girls in a yearlong afterschool program.
If you walk into our space you’ll see girls coding, soldering, building electronic circuits, learning to use a 3D printer and power tools. Girls are making real things like building toys, programming video games and making interactive wearable electronics. They’re gaining technical skills and applying them creatively.
Girls has been successful at implementing a learning environment
where girls can take risks, learn skills and build confidence in
their technical abilities. We're on a mission to empower girls through creating with technology and need your help to reach more girls!
What have we done so far?
DIY Girls has developed and implemented a range of educational programs and events designed to encourage exploration with technology, promote self-confidence and support aspiration to technical careers.
- Recruited and served a total of 60 girls - Last year, 30 5th grade girls participated in our weekly afterschool program. This year we are serving a new group of 30 5th graders. We meet twice a week for 2 hours throughout the school year.
- Held a showcase event for families and the community - Families and other community members had a chance to play with games at our crowded DIY Arcade held in June.
- Offered monthly making workshops at the public library - In September, in partnership with the LA Public Library, we started offering monthly workshops open to all and led by amazing volunteers on Saturdays. Our goal is to have our girls also serve as mentors to other kids in the community at these workshops.
Built a DIY community for women - For the last 2 years, we have organized meetups for women in the LA area that want to learn hands-on DIY skills. From coding to woodworking, our meetups have offered women a place to learn new skills. Through this we have met local makers that help us develop content for our programs for girls.
Our costs have been low because we leverage partnerships with schools and the local public library for space so we don't pay rent or utilities. Our funds go directly to program operations, materials, tools and equipment for the girls.
Nationally, less than 15% of girls show an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the critical ages between 4th and 8th grade. These young girls often report lower levels of confidence in their abilities to do well in science and technology and as a result decide not to take higher-level courses in high school. Moreover, the need for STEM programs is higher for minority girls. Currently, Latinas represent only 1% of employed scientists and engineers in the US.
DIY Girls aims to have an effect on girls as they enter adolescence and start to form career interests. Our innovative educational programs focus on increasing girls’ confidence in their technical abilities. Our current program focuses efforts on underserved Latina girls and provides an early intensive experience with technology designed to build self-confidence and persistence.
Help DIY Girls expand and have more impact
Word of mouth has spread in our community! Girls as young as 2nd grade tell us they can't wait to join DIY Girls. Teachers and administrators from dozens of schools want to work with us to bring the DIY Girls program to their school.
Our goal of $40,000 will help us grow and impact more girls in one year, here's how:
- Launch a DIY Girls afterschool program at a new school- We'll start up our program at a new school. Funds raised will cover materials, tools, equipment and two part-time facilitators to work with 30 girls.
- Continue serving our girls that are now in middle school - We want to continue to provide advanced projects, support and guidance to our 30 girls that are now in middle school. We will offer monthly workshops for them and take them on field trips to tech companies.
- Train high school girls to serve as mentors - We're working with 2 local high schools to start a mentoring program. We'll teach 20 HS girls to design and make their own projects and to serve as assistants/mentors for our younger girls at our afterschool, library and summer camps.
Help us make a difference for girls in our community and provide a pathway to technical careers for our girls. We also want to share our program implementation strategies and projects with educators and others interested in running programs like ours.
Excited? Here's How You Can Help
Invest in girls
- Help us meet our goal and make a donation! Every little bit helps.
- Choose one of our funding levels and receive a perk. From a digital thank you to a custom project made for you by our girls, you'll receive our gratitute and be part of a movement to increase making opportunities for girls.
Help us spread the word
Just as much as your support, we want your help to let others know about our movement for positive change and every voice helps add to the reach of our message.
- Use Indiegogo share tools to let others know about us
- Post our campaign link on Facebook
- Click here to tweet this message "I support DIY Girls and you can too"
- Email or call 5 of your friends to contribute to our campaign. Even $1 helps!
- Share our efforts on your blog or other publication
On behalf of all the girls we serve, we personally thank you for supporting DIY Girls and for joining forces with us to get others to contribute.
- Luz and Team DIY Girls :)** DIY Girls is a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.