STEAM Sundays for Career Pathways
STEAM Sundays for Career Pathways extends MOLAA's existing STEAM programming to hands-on learning workshops across 24 Sundays, engaging LA County youth and their families in free STEAM arts education led by Teaching Artists. These experiences expand interdisciplinary critical thinking skills through Latin American and Latinx art, also engaging local STEAM Professionals in creative industries to talk about their career pathways, helping lift the barriers to representation of Latinx and other marginalized groups in STEAM careers.
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
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?
According to the National Science Foundation, Latinos represent 4% of the workforce in STEAM industries, and Latinas only 2% despite comprising 19% of the population. This representation gap illustrates the need for STEAM programming in Los Angeles County, where 48.6% of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latinx. MOLAA provides out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities for Latinx and other marginalized racial groups in STEAM to expand their representation in STEAM career fields. According to the University of Central Florida, "by integrating concepts and practices of the arts, STEAM uses tools such as data visualization or fine art imagery to deepen one's understanding of science, math and technology." MOLAA's STEAM-targeted workshops with Teaching Artists and visiting STEAM Professionals enhance intercultural thinking, elevate community representation, and positively impact youth, introducing career trajectories and expanding lifetime earning potential in STEAM industries.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
STEAM Sundays goals are to 1) deepen audience learning and consideration of STEAM career pathways; 2) encourage authentic engagement with Latin American art through hands-on cross-disciplinary instruction and artistic experimentation; and 3) promote intergenerational community learning between and among youth and family members, Teaching Artists and STEAM Professionals. The proposed program meets these goals in a bilingual setting, unique and needed in LA County. Starting in Oct. 2023, MOLAA will plan STEAM Sundays for Career Pathways to provide engaging STEAM educational programming for 24 of the museum's 52 "Free Sundays" between Jan. 1, 2024, and Oct. 31, 2024. Activities will take place from 1-4 PM in MOLAA's art studio, outdoor spaces, and corner garden serving 6,000 youth from 6-17 years old, many of whom will attend workshops with their parents. 12 STEAM Professionals will be "Spotlight Speakers" kicking off workshops by talking about their careers. Four specialized Teaching Artists will be hired to guide hands-on STEAM activities including: -Kaleidoscope kits and pendulum paintings inspired by kinetic and optical Venezuelan artists like Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesus Rafael Soto; -How to construct miniature floating gardens (chinampas), a technique used in Mesoamerican agriculture; and -The artistic application of mathematical concepts to drawing and photography of Chicana Artist Laura Aguilar, such as symmetry, proportion, perspective, tessellation, and polyhedra.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
MOLAA envisions an LA County where historically marginalized communities, especially Latinx youth and families, see themselves in STEAM career fields through high-quality bilingual arts education and opportunities for stable employment in the STEAM and creative industries. Empirical research indicates that education in the arts can enhance youth creativity, critical thinking, innovation, collaboration, and interpersonal communication skills, improving overall academic performance and decreasing dropout rates. Providing these K-12 STEAM educational workshops, with eventual long-term funding, will improve youth short-term education outcomes, also increasing youth skills and confidence to explore STEAM-based careers. LA County is home to 37,759 arts-related businesses that employ 265,874 people, accounting for 7% of total businesses and 5% of employed individuals. MOLAA seeks to bring the county closer to true proportional representation of Latinx professionals in this creative 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?
One of MOLAA's programmatic objectives is to expose participants to the ways that art intersects with science, technology, engineering, and math, increasing Latinx representation in STEAM careers. Existing STEAM programming serves over 10,000 youth annually and shadows the museum exhibition schedule by integrating STEAM learning strategies in specialized tours, classes, a science fair, and public programs engaging Latinx and other marginalized youth and their families. Through pre-and post-visit surveys, MOLAA has measured and noted success in student engagement, introduction and retention of concepts, and knowledge of key terms. These qualitative surveys will continue to measure this STEAM program's impact on the following criteria: the level of understanding of relevant STEAM themes presented, general satisfaction with and engagement in the experience, and the likelihood of sharing experiences with respective communities and repeat museum visits.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 6,000
Indirect Impact: 100,000