STEM SUPERHEROES: Meet Ms. Moreno, the 4th grade teacher changing the way parents see technology

112th Street STEAM Academy is an elementary school located in one of the poorest areas of Los Angeles. For most of its 50 year history, 112th Street has been a typical public elementary school, but faced the additional challenges that come with serving an area affected by generational poverty and disenfranchisement. The school recently became a STEAM Academy – which means they’re committed to aligning their curriculum to state and national science standards, closely engaging science teachers, and are eligible for additional funding for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) programs.

We’re proud to be working with 112th Street Academy this year as part of the AI Family Challenge. Led by Criss Moreno, a 4th grade science teacher at 112th Street, the AI Family program is very popular at the school, an achievement in itself, as Ms. Moreno told us that the school struggles with parent engagement. Generally, at events or activities targeted at parents she would see the same 10 parents over and over again. For the AI Family Challenge, however, Ms. Moreno recruited 20 families, all of whom have been actively engaged – “it’s the best parent turnout we’ve had. We never get that many parents in a room.”

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