learn Winner / 2015
Girls Learn LA
Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Friends of Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA)
Recognizing the research that shows that an all-girls school has a significant impact on the academic achievement of young women, GALA will provide a rigorous college preparatory education with a STEM based curriculum. Our proposal is for a collaborative work Maker Space, which will provide a more flexible learning environment where the girls can apply their collaborative, academic and technology skills to building projects.
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- GALA Academy, on the campus of LA High School, Los Angeles, Ca
How do you plan to use these resources to make change?
- Conduct research
- Engage residents and stakeholders
- Implement a pilot or new project
- Expand innovative ideas to better the community
How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics?
- Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs
- Percent of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years
- Youth unemployment and underemployment
- District-wide graduation rates
- HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math
- Academic Performance Index* scores
- College matriculation rates
- Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher ed
- Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)
- Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)
Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.
Los Angeles GALA graduates will graduate college-ready in the fields of STEM, taking with them core values of academic excellence, ethical leadership and a sense of self and community. In LAUSD, the female population is under served in math, science, technology and the development of a strong independent voice. GALA will seek to address these issues within a single-sex environment and as the first all-girls public school, will serve as a research and development site for effective urban schools and transfer success practice to the larger LAUSD co-educational context.
Most inner city girls have never used tools to make hand-on projects. A Maker Space at our school will be a collaborative workshop where girls gain practical hands-on experiences with new technologies and innovative processes to design and build projects. A Maker Space can provide a flexible environment where learning is made physical by applying science, technology, math and creativity to solve problems and build things. Who in this group will be the next inventor, problem solver, or technology innovator? Who in this group will figure out answers to solve LA’s problems of drought, homelessness, or earthquakes?
GALA will be opening this Fall 2016 with grades 6 and 9, with approximately 100 students per grade level. GALA will add a grade level each year until it reaches 6th-12th (a SPAN school). Starting with the Spring Board, College Board pre-AP curriculum in middle school, students will gain the necessary prerequisite skills to be successful in rigorous AP sequence in high school, enabling students to be selected into highly selective colleges. Through hand-on projects created in the Maker Space, GALA students will gain valuable experiences needed to understand real-life engineering and scientific applications, while applying what they learned to practice. Through their advisories and a designated college counselor, students will begin planning their college pathway in middle school. Teachers will incorporate college awareness and application process through advisories in high school. At the end, you will have a well-rounded Los Angeles high school graduate ready to excel in STEM fields.
Please explain how you will evaluate your work.
Our qualitative evaluation will be in the projects the girls will design, the competitions they enter, and the learning that will take place in the collaborative maker space. The quantitative evaluation will come through the increased amount of girls graduating and attending colleges, and majoring in STEM careers like engineering, mathematics and science.
How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?
- Money (financial capital)
- Volunteers/staff (human capital)
- Publicity/awareness (social capital)
- Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
- Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
- Community outreach
- Network/relationship support