Family Science and Engineers as Teachers

November 7, 2012, by Dara Olmsted

Who are we?

Iridescent is a team of engineers, scientists, anthropologists and educators who believe children need to be curious, courageous, and persistent to succeed in life. We believe that a technical training background and skill set is the door out of a life of poverty. We work with children and parents with meager resources and help them develop the traits of a successful scientist or inventor.

Our programs

Iridescent began in 2006 with one engineer and has grown into a national program with 18 staff and hundreds of volunteers. We have worked with over 16,000 kids, parents, and engineers since our inception. Our hubs are in New York City (where we run a science studio in Hunts Point), Los Angeles (where we run a science studio in South LA), the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, and Chicago.

We’ve designed a pipeline of hands-on engineering programs that allows us to work with less children for more time; we start them when they are young (pre-kindergarten) and work with them through adulthood.

Each of our programs looks into the future and builds for scale and impact. Each decision is made while planning five to ten years ahead. We believe in tackling big problems, learning from mistakes (ours and others’), getting up quickly after falling and always looking for a better way to do things.



Get Involved

We couldn’t do what we do without the talent and dedication of numerous volunteers- from engineers to tinkerers, we need your help! Learn more here:

About the Author:

Dara is Iridescent’s Director of Development. Dara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Harvard University and a Master’s in Environmental Policy and Urban Planning from Tufts University. She has taught science overseas and at Harvard, worked for a watershed association, helped to make Harvard more sustainable, run farmers’ markets, and directed Harvard’s Food Literacy Project. She currently writes for the Boston Globe’s Green Blog and loves to make sock monkeys.







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