learn / 2015

LA’s Promise Technology Academy

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by LA's Promise

Our organization seeks to establish a LA’s Promise Technology Academy at each of our school sites and expose 90 students from low-income backgrounds to STEM-related activities and careers.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South LA

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics?

  • District-wide graduation rates
  • HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math
  • Academic Performance Index* scores
  • 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

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.

For more than a decade, the United States has trailed the international community in Math, Reading, and Science, producing a growing surplus of workers with limited skills and further hampering our nation’s ability to compete on a global stage. According to the National Math + Science Initiative more than 46.8 million new jobs will be created by 2018, of which one million STEM graduates will be needed to meet demand. Additionally, STEM-based careers are expected to outpace traditional job growth and increase by 17 percent over the next decade. However, a 2010 report released by the United States Census Bureau illustrates the widening achievement gap for minorities, with only 19 percent of African Americans and 14 percent of Hispanics aged 25-29 having earned a Bachelor’s degree. Our organization will address this disparity and introduce young men and women to STEM though the creation of the LA’s Promise Technology Academy at John Muir Middle School, Manual Arts Senior High School, and West Adams Preparatory High School. We will expose a combined 90 students (40 per school) to STEM-related after school activities. All LA’s Promise Technology Academy participants will attend coding and app development classes, lectures from guest speakers, and/or field trips organized in partnership with Televisa, Univision, Fox Studios, Direct TV, Google, and others. Participants will chronicle their experience through a dedicated blog, video journals, and on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In addition, participating students will be provided with Math and Science tutoring to ensure they excel in the classroom. Use of a digital badge platform such as Mozilla’s Open Badges will track the progress of students and unlock achievements as skills are mastered within each respective curriculum. Activities will be scheduled after school throughout the upcoming 2016-2017 academic school year.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Students from John Muir Middle School, Manual Arts Senior High School, and West Adams Preparatory High School will participate in the LA’s Promise Technology Academy as tracked through attendance logs. LA’s Promise will conduct a qualitative survey to gauge participating students interest in STEM at the start of the program and upon culmination. Baseline data will also be collected during the pilot year to demonstrate potential linkages between after school STEM programming and student academic performance in Math and Science subject areas as well as increases to daily attendance, high school graduation rate, and college enrollment. Intended measurable outcomes include:

  1. Expose more than 90 students to STEM-related careers.
  2. More than 75% of participating students will increase their interest in STEM and the pursuit of a related career as measured through surveys.
  3. Track participating students attendance rate and grade point average in Math and Science subject areas.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research