Launched by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2017, Spark into S.T.E.M. is a four-pronged initiative centered on exposing young girls who live in at-risk areas in Los Angeles to the wondrous world of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Society is at great risk of bypassing talented inner city youth, especially girls, who possess a natural S.T.E.M. aptitude and curiosity due to socio-economic constructs and holes in our education system. The Sparks are committed to combating these pitfalls by igniting the already-budding curiosity for S.T.E.M. which many Los Angeleno girls possess.
With Los Angeles attracting numerous tech companies and startups, it is has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the S.T.E.M. industry. The Sparks are dedicated to ensuring that these young girls learn about the excellent opportunities that exist in their own backyard.

 

Past Workshops


Beauty & Brains: Sparkle Inside and Out – July 2017

Goal: Meld the excitement of science, technology, engineering, and math-based activities with the draw of beauty, glamour, and fashion.

Who: 25 middle and high school-aged girls living in at-risk areas of Los Angeles.

What: The girls attended an afternoon workshop hosted by the Sparks in tandem with engineers and architects from Raytheon and N.O.M.A, as well as beauty sponsors NCLA, Chayil Maison, and Top Knot. The group took part in a panel discussion with a group of female engineers, an architecture-based activity, and a beauty session with gifting.

Why: If you can see it, you can be it! The Sparks wanted to combine the girls’ interest in beauty lessons with the opportunity to better understand how broad and magnificent a professional career in engineering and space travel can be.

 


WhizGirls at Work! – December 2017

Goal: Build and develop computer literacy skills, personal leadership, and innovative thinking.

Who: 60 middle and high school-aged girls living in at-risk areas of Los Angeles.

What: The girls, dubbed ‘Sparks Secret Agents,’ spent the day learning how to code and design their own websites and apps through a variety of ‘Top-Secret Missions.’ They also participated in a series of ‘brain breaks,’ engaging in yoga and meditation exercises to help build healthy ways to handle stress. The group was able to take home their projects to show off to their family and friends.

Why: Students learn best when they feel connected to lessons through active participation, and we want to encourage strong S.T.E.M. engagement. Every day, we see how computing technology can improve the average person’s ability to be more productive and valuable to the economy. We want to empower the youth Los Angeles youth to develop these skills and set their goals high. Work to ensure that a lack of resources, exposure, prior skills, and S.T.E.M. proficiency are no longer barriers to entry for girls seeking to advance their computer literacy.


Ready, Set, S.T.E.M.! – January 2018

Goal: Broaden students’ horizons while raising their interest and awareness of exhilarating career opportunities in California.

Who: 12 middle and high school-aged girls living in at-risk areas of Los Angeles.

What: In partnership with the Verizon Foundation, the group went to their first Golden State Warriors game and took in the tech behind the fan and player experience at Oracle Arena. They also explored the cutting-edge technology in development at the Verizon Innovation Lab, and visited with top engineering and technology executives from LucasFilm Studio, Brandless, and Sony’s Playstation.

Why: Inner city youth are routinely passed by society, and many of our very own bright minds with a talent for S.T.E.M. are ignored. By showing them the groundbreaking technological work being done in different industries, we can encourage them to grow their interest in S.T.E.M. We need to bring them into the light where they belong.

 

 


City of S.T.E.M. – May 2018

Goal: Expose local youth to tech companies doing exciting work in Los Angeles.

Who: 25 middle and high school-aged girls living in at-risk areas of Los Angeles.

What: The group paid an immersive visit to the Brandless startup, a health food and home product pop-up experience on Melrose. Afterwards, they stopped at the headquarters of Honey, a coupon-based online shopping platform.

Why: Los Angeles is quickly becoming THE city of S.T.E.M under Mayor Garcetti’s office, and we want to ensure that native Los Angeleno girls understand the amazing professional opportunities that exist in their own backyard. To college and beyond!