learn / 2016

The Robin Hoods of Rubbish are building STEAM Labs!

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

We are the Robin Hoods of Rubbish and we want to build STEAM Labs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) out of upcycled materials in 20 Title 1 Schools in Los Angeles.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Elysian Heights Elementary, Hillery T. Broadous Elementary, San Pascual Avenue Elementary School, Bancroft Middle School, Luther Burbank Middle School, Castelar ES, Young Oak Kim Academy, Eastman Avenue, Hooper Avenue ES, STEAM High School, Pinewood Elementary, Monterey High School, Newcastle Elementary, Vernon City School, Griffith Middle School, Stephen M. White Middle School, Newmark High School, Sharp Elementary, Atwater Avenue ES, Bertrand Elementary

Please describe your project proposal.

We inspire creative and critical thinking by allowing the students to create working head-sets, model homes with complex circuitry, robots, simple engines and more - out of clean, colorful items captured from manufacturers waste streams (that’s where the Rubbish comes in). 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.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • College matriculation rates
  • District-wide graduation rates
  • Proficiency in English and Language Arts and Math
  • Student education pipeline

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

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?

We inspire creative and critical thinking by allowing the students to create working head-sets, model homes with complex circuitry, robots, simple engines and more - out of clean, colorful items captured from manufacturers waste streams (that’s where the Rubbish comes in). 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. We will offer students with no access to a Makers’ Space our exciting STEAM Labs. Hands-on learning is the key to developing the next generation of Scientists and Researchers but where do they get the material for that exploration? Offering these students a dedicated room filled with inspiring materials and tools with which to create allows all students regardless of economic realities an opportunity to engage in the design process where they are able to test ideas, fail, rethink and redesign the same way that all successful scientists and engineers operate.
We currently have 44 schools on our wait list. Schools that have need, room, and no budget for a STEAM Lab (this is where the Robin Hood part comes in). LAUSD has among the highest concentration of low-income students in the state, with more than 80% living at or below the poverty line. We want to teach these students to invent out of clean, rescued, rubbish.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

The teachers and students who work in the our STEAM Labs will evaluate the process and outcomes through feedback forms. This will be done through pre-then-post surveys (designed with the assistance of LAUSD Science educators)will be completed by the teachers, parents and participating young inventors. We will measure attitudes toward learning the STEAM disciplines prior to engaging in our STEAM Labs and again at the end of the year with access to the STEAM Lab.

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

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Quality improvement research