2021 Grants Challenge


Idea by Hacker Fund

We are building a technology dashboard that will connect S.T.E.A.M. mentors from the industry to LAUSD high school classrooms in order to provide teachers with co-curricular and extra-curricular support in the science, technology, engineering, arts, and math departments. The purpose of our dashboard is to increase class enrollment and class engagement within high school CTE (Career Technical Education) classes and participation in afterschool activities related to S.T.E.A.M.


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

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

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

After engaging in programs with LAUSD teachers & administrators since the shutdown started in March 2020, we have assessed that LAUSD has the following problems: (1) The old classroom model of education is broken. (2) Teachers are not able to transition smoothly between in-person and virtual instruction on their own. (3) Schools are struggling to obtain the human capital needed to keep students engaged and enrolled as LAUSD returns to normal instruction (4) Teachers in the science, technology, engineering, arts, and math departments are under-resourced for both the virtual and hybrid class model. (5) CTE departments are understaffed.

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

Grant funds will be used to: (1) complete any additional technical development of MentorDash (2) hire a full-time Program Manager to coordinate the launch of our first cohort of 25 LAUSD high schools (500 students per school) in August 2021 and then manage the subsequent cohorts. Together, Hacker Fund and Road to Artdom operate the largest nonprofit network of S.T.E.M. mentors in the United States. Our new mentorship dashboard will allow the volunteers from our network to provide office-hours, workshops, bootcamps, and career fairs for students virtually under the supervision of their teachers.

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

Applying a proven model or solution to a new issue or sector (e.g., using a job recruiting software or strategy to match clients to supportive housing sites, applying demonstrated strategies from advocating for college affordability to advocating for housing affordability and homelessness, etc.)

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

Direct Impact: 112,500

Indirect Impact: -

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

If our work is successful, we will see the following: (1) student enrollment in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math classes throughout LAUSD schools will increase. (2) CTE class participation and class project completion rates will increase. (3) positive satisfaction ratings with CTE classes among students in the virtual and hybrid instruction model will increase. (4) student enrollment in S.T.E.A.M. related afterschool programs will increase. (5) reports of S.T.E.A.M. teacher burnout in LAUSD will decrease. (6) LAUSD will be better-prepared to offer the hybrid education model to its students.

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

Since LAUSD first shutdown in March in 2020, we have piloted several virtual engagements including bootcamps, workshops, and office hours in partnership with Compton Unified School District. We saw an increase in students participation in S.T.E.A.M. classes. We have decided to operate all of our virtual engagement through MentorDash so that we can track student engagement and performance. We will be measuring impact via the following metrics: (1) number of students enrolled in S.T.E.A.M. classes after introduction of MentorDash on campus; success: increase (2) NPS of students enrolled in S.T.E.A.M. classes that use MentorDash: success: positive NPS (3) number of students that complete modules on MentorDash: success: 50% of students (4) teacher satisfaction ratings of classroom environment; success: increase in positive satisfaction ratings (5) student proficiency in S.T.E.A.M. subject; success: students pass S.T.E.A.M. related classes

Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.

Road to Artdom will make its art curriculum and network of mentors (designers, artists, and other creatives) available on MentorDash.

Which of the LEARN metrics will you impact?​

Employment in the tech industries

Employment in the creative industries

Unemployment rate

Arts education

Enrollment in afterschool programs

Proficiency in STEM

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to CREATE