2022 Grants Challenge

Tech Arts for female/nonbinary youth

Creating equitable access to immersive technology education for female and non binary youth, including mentorship, guidance, practical experience and inspiration via an open source online learning platform in order to remove the gender gaps in technology and create a safer brighter future for all through the creation of technology that benefits us all.


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

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

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

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

Females in tech account for 11% engineering and 24% computing jobs. We need diverse representation and voices in the tech industry as our world is built upon technology. Female/non binary professionals who act collectively, empathetically and compassionately must be ‘at the table’ when the future of our world is shaped through tech. We are in an education crisis. When youth are in STEAM enrichment, they think critically, develop social skills and gain agency and confidence to pursue audacious careers Many families lack access to computers and tech. Schools become a vital hub to spark engagement. Yet, most teachers do not possess resources to teach immersive tech. The cost of college is unattainable for many youth. Students do not have the guidance, and resources necessary to discover scholarships,nor the access to skills that set them apart. With access to mentorships and STEAM enrichment, students get the opportunities, experience and support needed to succeed in the tech industry.

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

Launched in 2016, ABG’s Futures Rewired (FR) addresses the gender gaps in tech. It's been an in-school program for 12-18 year old female/non-binary students, and will expand to an online educational platform with a cohesive tech-driven curriculum for both teachers and students, including lesson plans, videos and mentorship . Led by female tech professionals, FR explores STEAM, specifically immersive technology, as a tool for social change and exciting career pathways. Students are exposed to a range of digital media, hardware, and software including: virtual augmented and mixed reality, computer science, coding, data visualization, AI, technical art, 3D modeling etc. Reflecting ABG’s commitment to advancing social justice, the curriculum centers around how to use technology for good. Currently, FR is in residence at Girls Academic Leadership Academy. Now, we will be expanding this existing successful program to be accessible to students across LA county and potentially the entire globe. We are building a FR virtual learning platform as described above that can be shared with teachers of all experience levels, individualized learning guides, and a forum/communication portal between students and teachers , so that no young person need ever miss out on an education in technology. After the pilot program is completed in June 2023 an iterated version will be made available to all schools across LA county and open-sourced to students globally in September 2023.

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

Our vision is that with LA2050, Futures Rewired will ensure every student in LA county, specifically female and non-binary students, will have access to free, accessible education in immersive technology; That LA’s female/non binary youth will have no barriers between them and tech professionals, careers, learning and inspirational opportunities and the skills, agency and confidence needed to pursue their futures in an ever-growing industry. We see a future for LA County, known for its female/non binary changemaker tech leaders who are creating audacious, impactful and world changing software/hardware/programs that are founded in their desire to use tech to make the world a more equitable, safe and thriving place for all. Through the expansion of FR across the globe, we believe LA county can be the center of connection for children around the world who have been given an opportunity to discover how their unique experience of the world can be translated into life changing technologies.

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

In this pilot online platform expansion of FR we will engage 10 schools across LA County serving youth in underserved communities (3 classes min per school). Our impact measures for this program: 30 classrooms in LA actively engage with the FR online learning platform for 2nd semester on a weekly basis 90% of teachers report the program was an effective and impactful addition to class lessons 90% of students demonstrate increased understanding of immersive technologies and their practical applications. 90% of students demonstrate an understanding of potential career opportunities in the immersive tech industry. 90% of students can demonstrate how immersive technologies create social change 80% of students demonstrate increased interest in careers in the immersive tech industry 80% of students demonstrate a strong interest in using technology to create social change. These success indicators will be measured via surveys developed in partnership with the LA County dept of public health

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

Direct Impact: 197,000

Indirect Impact: 125,000,000