2016 Grants Challenge

Girls Make VR: Teach underserved girls how to make VR and AR content

Weekly educational events, workshops and classes to teach underserved girls cutting edge creative and technical processes for making Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality content.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

VRLA School: the education arm of the largest VR/AR expo in the world, VRLA., SH//FT: an organization that partners w/ industry leaders in emerging tech such as AR/VR to sponsor opportunities for minority groups.

Please describe your project proposal.

We are creating an educational platform to give underserved girls resources to empower them as valuable creators in this new tech and media landscape. Recently, VRLA School, Arts Bridging the Gap, SH//FT and other organizations collaborated to put on the first Girls Make VR hands-on workshop for young girls interested in learning how to make interactive Virtual Reality (VR) content. It proved to be a hugely valuable experience for the girls - immersing them in a new world and potential future.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your proposal impact?​

College completion

College matriculation rates

District-wide graduation rates

Youth unemployment and underemployment

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to LEARN?

Los Angeles is one of the great technology centers of the world - with the confluence of its renowned entertainment industry and bustling tech scene, LA is a natural setting for the VR/AR industry to flourish and VRLA School, SH//FT, and Arts Bridging the Gap have been at the center of it. VRLA put on its 2016 Summer Expo at the LA Convention Center, hosting 6000 attendees eager to dive into the new world of mixed reality. At their expo, VRLA School had the first Girls Make VR workshop with Arts Bridging the Gap, SH//FT, Radeon Technologies Group, CyberPowerPC, Unity, Oculus, Girls Who Code, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and a number of other organizations. We were inspired by the enthusiasm and engagement of the girls who attended this hands-on workshop, so we decided to take it further with an educational platform that facilitates more frequent events with a similar focus and goal.

It is clear VR and AR these new mediums will greatly impact our near future – where all disciplines like architecture, storytelling, gaming, health, art, music, and more are affected. Now is the time to pilot a program that enables equal opportunity in this quickly developing field. This industry thrives on empathizing with different perspectives – a strong balance of genders, ethnicities, ages, and backgrounds will lead to a richer blend of content that will drive innovation of the tech. This means all kinds of VR/AR developers, designers, engineers, story creators, artists, entrepreneurs, and more are needed – we want to make sure girls have a strong part in that mix. By starting these classes today we are ensuring jobs for these girls in the future.

VRLA School has shown the importance and need for education in the VR/AR industry through their frequent educational events. They’ve worked to gather and democratize the practices and findings of this tech and media space.

Even still it can be nearly impossible for younger girls to be given the encouragement and skills to create VR/AR content themselves. The tech is expensive, schools and other programs aren’t yet equipped themselves to teach VR/AR creation methodologies, and societal barriers still exist that dissuade girls from embracing what’s possible. We want to make it possible for young girls to jump those hurdles reverse those hurdles by making the VR/AR tech, skills, and creative practices exciting and accessible.

Arts Bridging the Gap and SH//FT understand and navigate the hurdles that girls from these communities experience in their endeavor to thrive. We feel that the art of technology is a bright spark of possibility for these girls and their future success.

Our classes will open girls' hearts and minds to the importance of learning by igniting their abilities in this forward thinking industry, making LA the leading city for change.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

We will base our success of three areas with specific metrics

1. Adoption of skills and learning

With the assistance of the class teachers we will set specific metrics that the girls will work towards - with a focus on mastery not grades.

- Our goal is to have 90% of girls enrolled in the class advance three levels each year that they are in the program.

2. Academic results and graduation rate

We believe this class will positively affect the academic success of the girls enrolled. -- - Our goal is to have 90% of girls enrolled increase their academic results by 1 letter grade in each year they are enrolled. Further more we see success as 100% of our girls graduating high school and continuing on to further education.

3. Sense of purpose for their education and excitement for their future

We will be using the Hollywood Hope Index to measure girls sense of excitement and purpose for their future.

- Our goal is that 100% of girls see a bright future and wish to succeed in their future after 6 months attending classes.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?



Advisors/board members


Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)

Network/relationship support