2021 Grants Challenge

Learning Together: Los Angeles Families Engage in STEM

PowerMyLearning’s programs and services provide access, opportunity and innovation to youth at critical engagement stages by exposing them to interactive STEM programs that they can engage in with their families.


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

Central LA

East LA

South LA

LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Our STEM programming addresses a need that has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic: schools need support with authentically partnering with families to ensure students successfully master STEM subjects. Families are now playing an outsized role in the learning process, and our focus on activating the exponential power that occurs when teachers, students, and families collaborate on the same learning goals is critical now more than ever.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

PowerMyLearning’s programs help families become more involved in students’ learning through the following: 1. Online Educator Coaching: Our Professional Learning Specialists work one-on-one with STEM teachers to help them adopt innovative strategies to increase family engagement. 2. Online Family Workshops: Beginning in March 2020, our workshops fully transitioned online and are being delivered via Zoom. These workshops leverage technology to raise student achievement in STEM subjects by training families on how to access STEM digital activities available on PowerMyLearning Connect, our free K-12 online education platform, and through our Family Engagement Toolkit: https://powermylearning.org/learn/resources/.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 400

Indirect Impact: 8,500

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

We hope to see a transformation in education – one where effective family engagement is a standard for the education system. A report published by the RAND Corporation in 2020 titled, “COVID-19 and the state of K-12 Schools” found that 57% of teachers and principals surveyed rated engaging with families as a somewhat higher or much higher priority when looking ahead to the new school year. Principals and schools do not yet have the necessary supports and resources to do this effectively. PowerMyLearning can play a key role in providing the tools and training teachers need in order to effectively engage families in the learning process, especially in STEM subjects. With strong communication and trust in place, all families can provide unique insight to teachers, help students set and work toward goals, and support ongoing STEM learning and exploration at home.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

This is an existing program that we have been offering since 2008. Our approach brings families into the learning process in an impactful way that results in improved student outcomes. PowerMyLearning determines impact through internal and external evaluations, analyzing state test scores and other publicly available data, as well as administering surveys. A meta-study completed by the Department of Education on family engagement found that, during primary school years, the level of family engagement had a bigger impact on student achievement than did the quality of the child’s school. In a recent study, PowerMyLearning schools outperformed comparison schools in math proficiency by an average of 8.6 percentage points. After participating in our programs, 88% of students in partner schools say they know how to find resources to help them learn things they do not understand in math, and 95% of parents in partner schools become more confident that they can help their child learn.

Which of the LEARN metrics will you impact?​

Enrollment in afterschool programs

College matriculation

Proficiency in STEM