Technovation (formerly Iridescent)
Iridescent has engaged 21,000 children and parents in open-ended engineering design challenges. Evaluations show that the program boosts children’s interest in challenging STEM activities, prompts parents to do more hands-on science with their children, and helps more parents believe their children could have a career in science or engineering.
- Need Accomplished
- Evaluation Accomplished
- Sustainability Accomplished
- Replication & Scalability Developing
- Partnerships Accomplished
- Capacity Developing
- Challenging & Relevant Content Accomplished
- STEM Practices Accomplished
- Inspiration Accomplished
- Under-Represented Groups Accomplished
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy. Programs must be Accomplished () across all Design Principles, or be Developing () in a maximum of three areas.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Replication & Scalability Developing
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships.
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Challenging & Relevant Content Accomplished
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience.
STEM Practices Accomplished
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Under-Represented Groups Accomplished
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.
Iridescent leverages two untapped resources, engineers and parents, to address the STEM achievement gap. Our engineers receive training to work with the same families year after year to help parents become successful participants, investors and leaders of the Family Science Program. Iridescent’s mission is to inspire and support children from underrepresented communities to become problem solvers, creators, engineers, scientists, and inventors. Our goal is to lift communities out of generational poverty by increasing access to technical careers. We leverage technology and parent networks to achieve the necessary intensity and dosage of support. Our approach has three aspects:
- Highly engaging, in-person, project-based program that inspires, wows and hooks the students and families.
- Educating and empowering parents to develop strong cross-linkages within their networks to help them run hands-on science projects in their homes with a smaller group of families.
- Engaging, scaffolded online video curriculum and online community that supports self-directed exploration at home.
- Engineers as Teachers: Engineers and technology professionals go through a science and technology communication training program through which they learn to communicate their passion to children.
- Family Science Courses: Engineering professionals lead open-ended, hands-on, engineering-design courses with children and their parents.
- Technovation Challenge: A project-based program combining computer science and entrepreneurship for high school girls and women professionals in technology.
Funders and Partners
Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation, Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation, Leonetti Connell Family Foundation, IEEE, Google RISE, University of Southern California, New York Community Trust/Hive, NISE Net