LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Designing the Future: Unleashing Innovation through We The People High School's AI Lab

This grant will support the establishment of an innovative 3D Design and AI Integration Lab at We The People High School. The lab aims to equip students with practical skills in 3D Design and Artificial Intelligence, preparing them to meet the dynamic demands of various industries such as architecture, engineering, product design, and animation, and empowering them to effectively and ethically navigate a society that is increasingly dependent on technology.


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?

Other:: Long Beach

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?

As technology advances by the day, teachers are tasked with preparing students for jobs that don't exist yet. The new & increasingly popular technologies of 3D modeling & Artificial Intelligence have motivated both concern & excitement about the future of K-12 education. Experts across industries agree that the incorporation of these tools in school curricula are critical for ensuring adequate & equitable preparation for postsecondary success. Yet high school educators lack sufficient exposure to the practical use of these technologies, leaving students underprepared. As industries increasingly incorporate these tools, it's crucial that students gain hands-on experience to increase their competitiveness and versatility in the job market. For students like those at WTP who come primarily from low-income backgrounds & communities of color, it is even more important that they receive rigorous and relevant instruction in skills that will position them to learn & lead into the future.

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

The grant will support the launch of a comprehensive media arts course at We the People High School that introduces students to 3D modeling software and Artificial Intelligence Technology, and exposes them to emerging career pathways that require these skills. Through WTP's project-based learning model, students will engage with both the theory and application of these technologies with a focus on how AI is changing the landscape of 3D design. Students will also engage in analysis and debate regarding the ethics of AI integration in educational and professional settings toward the goal of understanding the critical impacts that these technologies have on equity and democracy. The course will be adaptable to the evolving demands of the technology and will aim to provide students with a foundational understanding of the design process and experience with skill sets that they can apply across various industries. Students will utilize emerging technologies like Unreal Engine to design, produce, and tell their stories.

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

We The People's 3D Design & AI Integration Lab will serve as a proof point of rigorous instruction of emerging technologies in high school settings, allowing WTP staff & students to share their learning with others & encourage more widespread adoption of similar courses. Students across LA County will have expanded access to real-world educational experiences that prepare them for well-paying jobs in industries aligned to their interests. LA will become home to a more technologically literate & adaptable workforce, & graduates from these programs will bring valuable skills to their industries, boost local businesses, and attract more investment to the region. Moreover, it will reduce the skills gap, lead to higher employment rates among graduates, & ensure students from marginalized backgrounds who have historically lacked access to high-quality post-secondary preparation are prepared with the knowledge, skills, & passion to be leaders in our ever-growing technology-based economy.

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

Success of We The People's 3D Design and AI Integration Lab will be defined in the following ways: - 85% of students enrolled will successfully complete the course with a passing grade. - 85% of students enrolled in the course will demonstrate proficiency in course standards for 3D modeling and AI technologies, -100% of students enrolled in the course will present their projects to peers, families, and community stakeholders at our spring Exhibition of Learning These metrics will be tracked over the course of the year through course assessments and independent projects. We will also measure success through feedback surveys from students that reveal student excitement and engagement with the course, comfort with the course material, and preparedness for future careers in which they hope to use these skills.

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

Direct Impact: 40

Indirect Impact: 1,875