Additionally, we have trained over 3500 volunteer professional engineers, undergraduates and graduate students and professional women in technology.
Iridescent programs serving children, families, high school and middle 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:
- 90% of the students understood science and engineerin
- 88% of students had a better understand
ing of what jobs are available in those fields.
- 94% of students are more excited about doing challengin
- 85% of students agree that they would be a good scientist or engineer someday
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:
- 91% of parents said they would encourage their child to pursue a STEM education or career.
- 94% of parents did more hands-on science projects with their children at home, demonstrat
ing that involving parents is effective in extending learning beyond the program.
- 92% of parents understand science and engineerin
- Parents report being more confident because their children see them as people who know things, who can build things and who can solve problems.
Impact on Middle and High School Girls
Over the past five years more than 5,000 middle and high school girls have programmed over 1,000 mobile phone apps and learned to launch a venture by participating in our Technovation Challenge program.
In a 5-year look-back survey, we found that Technovation has lasting results:
- 46% of alumnae intend to major in CS in college after the program
- 70% of alumnae are more interested in entrepreneurship
- 70% of alumnae have taken further courses in CS when given the opportunity
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.