by Luz Rivas, Founder and Executive Director
DIY Girls: Making, Playing and Exploring
DIY Girls’ mission is to increase girls’ interest in technology, engineering and making through innovative educational experiences. DIY Girls develops and implements educational programs designed to promote girls’ early engagement and exploration with technology, encourage self-confidence and support aspiration to technical careers.
DIY Girls aims to have an effect on girls as they enter adolescence and start to form career interests. We seek to provide an early experience that will give girls the tools and confidence to persist and make better educational decisions. In our programs, girls make real things. They learn practical technical skills that can be applied creatively. Girls design and make toys with a 3D printer, program their own video games, design creative inventions with conductive paint and make wearable electronics products. Our projects provide motivation and relevance to want to learn technical skills. To get an idea of what kinds of projects the girls make check out our Vine feed or watch our program video.
Our programs for girls are currently offered in Pacoima, a neighborhood in the Northeast San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. The majority of residents in this community (85%) are Latino. Currently, 100% of the girls we serve are Latinas. The majority of our girls’ parents are immigrants from Mexico or Central America and definitely have making skills that girls aspire to have too. Some girls tell us they joined our program so they can learn electronics like their dad or learn how to fix things like their mom. We feel that the making approach to our program attracts the girls since they can connect it to their home lives. They also love taking the projects home and sharing them with their families.
We have partnered with schools, the Los Angeles Public Library and others to offer programs that give girls in this community an opportunity to learn by doing and make their own inventions. We currently run yearlong after school programs for 5th grade girls at two elementary schools and hold a monthly making workshop at the public library open to kids in the community. Our goal is to grow our programs to continue serving girls until they graduate from high school.
Summer 2014 Making Programs
We’re excited to have been selected as a Maker Corps site this summer! We’re looking for two corps members to help us develop new and innovative making activities as well as lead our summer programs. Maker Corps Members will have the opportunity to work with girls that are excited about making and look forward to challenging projects. We’re looking for corps members with interdisciplinary skills that will compliment our existing staff. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.