2022 Grants Challenge

Creating AI Futures

Idea by poieto

poieto aims to provide creative entry points to emerging technologies through educational STEAM workshops. In collaboration with Inner-City Arts, our classes will lower barriers to creating with technology, provide access to emerging industries, and catalyze imaginations of the future of technology.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

Inner-City Arts

What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

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

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

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

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

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Within K-12 STEAM education, there is an immense opportunity to evoke youthful imagination. It creates a space where students can learn by doing, strengthen understanding and build creative confidence. However, resources and access to STEAM education and opportunities are not distributed equally. Arts are often under-prioritized and emerging technologies are often out of reach, making it hard to instill this creative confidence early on. This limits avenues to careers in the space and thus our collective creative making potential.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

poieto will provide instructors and curriculum for 6, 11-week long weekend classes in addition to several career-readiness workshops- in collaboration with Inner-City Arts. The curriculum will consist of project-based making for students in 7th-12th grades. Classes will offer a series of conversations about the social implications of technologies and provide resources for both physical prototyping and digital making. Project-making will be guided through poieto's methodology, and sessions will introduce students to other tools like Scratch (educational coding tool), Arduino (customizable computer hardware), and Processing (a creative coding language) depending on grade level. We will also introduce students to emerging technologies such as photogrammetry and VR, and how these tools work through interactions between mathematics, software, and hardware to form complex 3D experiences. In addition to weekly classes, poieto will host career-readiness workshops with our network of creative technologists and others in Industry to showcase different careers. Students will emerge from the class with a working understanding of Machine Learning and other exciting technologies, having touched on coding basics and design critical thinking, and a "toolkit" of resources to bring their ideas to life. Most importantly, students will have worked collaboratively on a project of their choice over the 11-week period, and have the opportunity to show their work at the end.

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

Unfortunately, the power of technology is often siloed. Los Angeles has the potential to grow a creative and entrepreneurial hub that reflects the diversity of the city and its creative, joyous spirit. This programming will open up and strengthen pathways for students to discover new tools, modes of creating, and emerging careers, which will only strengthen LA as a place to innovate, learn, and create. Imagine how creative LA's entrepreneurial ecosystem could be with greater access and more experiences included and taking part.

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

Our definition of successful impact is increasing the number of students in grades 7-12 with access to available creative technologies and meeting industry professionals in creative tech roles. More broadly, our impact will be creative confidence in using emerging technologies (i.e. Machine Learning models, photogrammetry, VR) to experiment, explore, and express. We will use student enrollment to measure increased accessibility and the number of new projects formed during the class as a proxy for creative confidence. In addition to raw numbers, we are especially attuned to the diversity of enrolled students and making sure classes are providing opportunities for students from traditionally marginalized communities. Additionally, students will be encouraged to share their work beyond the classroom as part of career readiness portfolio development. This can also be a proxy for creative confidence and career readiness goals.

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

Direct Impact: 250

Indirect Impact: 2,500

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

We will be partnering directly with Inner-City Arts and their programming goals. Inner-City arts will provide a programming space, marketing, and infrastructural support for classes. Inner-City Arts has a partnership with LAUSD, serves students of all backgrounds, and will be the driver of enrollment in our classes.