We ask much of the students, parents and STEM professionals that participate in our programs, and we ask the same of ourselves as individuals and as an organization. These are our values:
We constantly ask questions to deepen our understanding of the world around us, and we stay inquisitive about the problems we are trying to solve.
We regularly step out of our comfort zones in order to grow. We aren’t afraid to try new things, to take risks or to fail.
We stay focused on our goals; we embrace change, adapt quickly and stay positive in the face of challenges. We never give up on ourselves, each other or the families we serve.
We enthusiastically explore new ideas, creating original and inventive content. We believe in finding creative solutions to big problems.
We believe in lifelong learning centered in a growth mindset. We constantly strive to deepen our skills. We stay abreast of leading educational research, and we use technology wisely to maximize the reach of our organization.
We learn as a family; we believe that everyone can learn and participate in STEM. By engaging parents and sharing knowledge and tools, we support each family’s learning. As a team, we cooperate, share responsibility and empower each other to be decisive and take action.
We are ethical, open and reliable. We use data to evaluate our programs and impact, and we represent the results honestly. We believe that sharing our successes and shortcomings freely and openly allows others to learn from us.
We seek out and promote diversity of backgrounds, demographics and perspectives. We create programs and spaces that are dedicated to underrepresented and underserved audiences. We actively promote diversity and equity in STEM education and STEM fields.
Founder and CEO
Tara Chklovski is the CEO and founder of Iridescent. Her mission in life has been to transform the opportunities available to young people, especially girls, to reach their full-potential and impact their communities. Tara founded Iridescent in 2006 to create and deliver powerful science, engineering, and technology education to empower underrepresented young people. Iridescent has since grown to a community of over 3,500 mentors and more than 63,000 participants throughout the world through its flagship programs Technovation and Curiosity Machine. Forbes highlighted Tara in 2016 as “the pioneer empowering the incredible tech girls of the future” and she was prominently featured in the award-winning documentary Codegirl. Tara earned her BS in Physics from St. Stephen’s College and a MS in aerospace engineering from Boston University. Tara left her PhD program in aerospace engineering at USC to found Iridescent.
Katy Santa Maria
Board of Directors
Paul Yarin is the current Board Chair. His areas of expertise include science and engineering, leadership, startups, and corporations. Paul attended the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and MIT.
Dr. Chaitanya Ullal
Dr. Chaitanya Ullal’s areas of expertise include science and engineering, research, and academia. Dr. Ullal attended the Indian Institute of Technology and MIT.
Dr. Michael Kassner
Dr. Michael Kassner’s area of expertise include science and engineering, research, academia, and government. Dr. Kassner attended Northwestern, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Stanford.
Connect with Dr. Kassner on LinkedIn
Eva Ho’s areas of expertise include venture capital, operations, startups, and nonprofit boards.
Ulrich Aldag’s areas of expertise include science and engineering, leadership, and corporations. Ulrich Aldag received a PhD from the University of Bonn.
Bradlee J Stroia
Dr. Bradlee Stroia is the Director of Technology Development for Advanced Fuel Systems Research at Cummins, Inc. His areas of expertise include engineering and technology, corporations, leadership and community outreach.
Elyssa Elbaz’s areas of expertise include law, venture capital, and nonprofit foundations. Elyssa attended Claremont University and UCLA.
Merline’s areas of expertise includes technology and operations in fast growing sectors such as cloud computing, mobile, online payments and commerce.
Donald Lacey’s area of expertise include finance, operations, and corporations. Donald Lacey attended Harvard and MIT.
Rossanna is an award-winning Global Marketing Executive with extensive experience in digital, branding, media, PR and business development. She is passionate about the intersection of brand, content and technology -- creating meaningful stories, products and experiences that engage and deliver impact at scale. Rossanna has worked at senior levels within Fortune 100 companies including Disney, Warner Bros. and Estee Lauder, as well as venture-backed early stage startups.