learn / 2015

T4T.org’s ReImagined Resource Center STEAM Labs

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by T4T.org

We want to build STEAM Labs in 20 Title 1 Schools in Los Angeles. LAUSD has among the highest concentration of low-income students in the state, with more than 80% living at or below the poverty line. This translates into nearly 400 high-poverty campuses where all students automatically qualify for subsidized lunches. There is little room in the school budget for a Makers Space. We want to teach these students to invent out of ReImagined Resources or found objects.

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

  • County of Los Angeles
  • Title 1 Schools in LA County.

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

  • Conduct research
  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Expand a pilot or a program
  • Mobilize for systems change
  • Advocate with policymakers and leaders

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
  • 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

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

We will offer students with no access to a Makers’ Space our exciting ReImagined Resource Center (RRC) STEAM Labs. STEAM education and hands-on learning is the key to developing the next generation of Scientists and Researchers. RRCs offer a venue in which the students can invent and to share their creations. We will inspire creative and critical thinking through creating head-sets, model homes, robots, simple engines and more out of clean, colorful items captured from manufacturers waste streams. Using this material rather than allowing it to head to landfill will also advance the notion of environmental stewardship in a generation of Los Angeles children. Offering these students a dedicated room filled with inspiring materials and tools with which to create allows all students regardless of economic realities and opportunity to engage in the design process where they are able to test ideas, fail, rethink and redesign in same way that all successful scientists and engineers operate.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

The teachers and students who work in the RRC STEAM Labs will evaluate the process and our final outcome through feedback forms. This will be done through pre-then-post surveys completed by the teachers and students. We will measure attitudes toward learning prior to engaging in the RRC STEAM Labs and again at the end of the first year of access.

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.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research