Additionally, we have trained over 1400 volunteer professional engineers, undergraduates and graduate students and professional women in technology.
Iridescent programs serving children, families, high school girls, and engineering students have been evaluated by the EDC Center for Children and Technology. Impact has been measured through surveys, interviews and observations.
Impact on Children
Elementary school children attend five-week family science courses at their schools that are taught by engineering students. Of the children that participated in our family science courses:
- 75% are more interested in science at school.
- 65% of children do more science related activities with their parents
- 75% of children have a better understanding of science and engineering
Parents from Iridescent South Bronx studio share how Iridescent have impacted their kids’ ability to learn, solve problems and succeed in school.
Impact on Parents
The family science courses engage parents and encourage them to participate in learning and building with their children. Evaluators found that our program has impacted parents in the following ways:
- 78% of parents reported that they understand science and engineering better and 67% said they were more confident talking about science and engineering topics with others.
- Parents report being more confident because their children see them as people who know things, who can build things and who can solve problems.
- After attending family science courses, more science related activities are going on at participating families homes. Activities include building things, playing with science kits, watching science programs, and going to museums and zoos. A majority of parents (90%) also say they plan to read more science books with their children.
Impact on Middle and High School Girls
Over the past four years more than 1400 middle and high school girls have programmed ~300 mobile phone apps and learned to launch a venture by participating in our Technovation Challenge program.
- 94% girls believe a technology career is good career for women
- 75% can see themselves in a career in technology
- 75% are more interested in working in a career in technology
- 70% are considering studying computer science or engineering in college
- 88% know more about programming concepts
- 79% are more comfortable troubleshooting problems
- 43 Technovation alumni have interned at companies
Impact on Engineering Students
The undergraduate engineering students that took our Engineers as Teachers course reported they learned critical thinking, creativity, public speaking, and collaboration skills that they didn’t necessarily learn in other classes.
- Because they were communicating with an audience with little engineering background, the students learned how to simplify their language and break down complex content into simpler concepts.
- Instead of building to create a set of results, which they often do in their other classes, the engineering students felt the training helped them understand that there can be many solutions to one problem.
- Students were “inspired” by the multiple and varied designs of the children in the Family Science class; it reminded them that there is rarely just one right answer to a problem.
- Seeing the children’s excitement and fascination with building and designing reminded some of the students why they became engineers in the first place. It reminded them of the fundamental enjoyment of creating things and taking them apart.