learn / 2018
Launch Her Future: Empowering Los Angeles Girls
Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Activation Challenge by Friends of Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA)
GALA paves the road for high school girls to engage in project based learning and real world problem solving while supporting them as they become the leaders and innovators in STEM fields of tomorrow.
Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.
GALA’s mission is to provide its diverse community of young women with an excellent STEM education that prepares them for success in both university studies and their careers. GALA seeks to launch a project based Medical Intervention and Biomedical Innovation program that teaches techniques and skills that will help young ladies become leaders and innovators with 21st Century skills.
Which of the learn metrics will your activation impact?
- Students’ immersion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content
Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?
- LA is the healthiest place to LIVE
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?
- create resource for non-profits
Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to learn?
Across Los Angeles, young women, particularly women of color are underrepresented in math, science, and technology. Girls typically are not found in high level math and science classes, having been discouraged early on in their educational journey. The Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA) aims to break this pattern by providing girls with a STEM-centered college prep curriculum in a learning environment that strongly supports girls to be smart, self confident, and successful. GALA provides leadership training and the skills necessary to persist in STEM fields. The GALA Launch Her Future focus is a project based medical and biomedical program which will focus on the intersection of medicine and technology, allowing our girls to become true leaders and innovators in this burgeoning new field. Supporting the LA2050 LEARN metric of students’ immersion in science, technology, engineering, and math content, GALA is requesting support not just in STEM but in the newest field within STEM, including project based medical and technological innovation. GALA aims to encouraging learning and growth in this field by investigating medical mysteries, and using technology to solve them, which will advance the goal of 100% graduation and 100% college matriculation. In studying medical inventions, technological and biomedical innovation, students will work with the same equipment and tools used by professionals in the field. GALA students will be empowered to explore and find solutions to some of today’s most pressing medical challenges. Through activities that connect learning to life, students will step into the roles of biomedical science professionals investigating such topics as use of technology in medicine, genetics and issues in public health. Students will work together in teams to explore problems and find unique solutions, learning in-demand, transferable skills. One of the student inspired goals is health care advocacy and accessibility for Los Angelenos in need especially focusing in on homeless women. Our students hope to one day create an app or digital website that could be used to connect these women to health resources. This connects to the LA is the Healthiest place to LIVE part of LA2050 in that the girls long term goal is to affect greater change through access to medicine in the city. With access to the curriculum and resources, GALA students can explore public health issues such as how to detect and fight infection; screen and evaluate for disease and treatment options; and develop technology to support their findings. Through real-world cases, students will be exposed to a range of interventions, diagnostics, and devices related to immunology, surgery, genetics, and pharmacology. GALA’s mission is to provide its diverse community of young women with an excellent STEM education that prepares them for success in both university studies and their careers. The Launch Her Future biomedical technology project will do just that.
How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to learn
GALA hopes to engage Angeleonos by sharing their work around the projects they develop and eventually influencing citizens to live healthier. The communities affected by the activation is GALA’s school community at first. Then, depending on the research, the project also seeks to eventually engage Los Angelinos in general through the formation of an app used by non-profit organizations.
Strategies/tactics: learning the curriculum and resources, developing a grade level integrated curriculum project for 11th and 8th grade, technology integration, research, partnership with UCLA and USC medical schools, incorporation of 21st Century skills, as well as incorporation of Next Generation Science Standards.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.
GALA offers students a rigorous college preparatory curriculum in all grades, and the opportunity to earn college credit through Advanced Placement Testing beginning in ninth grade, with the goal of increasing the number and diversity of women in Los Angeles opting for careers in STEM fields. The immediate measurement of success will be incorporating a biomedical strand to our STEM curriculum, building interest in the medical field and encouraging leadership through a project based integrated curriculum focusing in the biomedical sciences. Currently, our 9th grade girls are researching STEM based medical professions and completing a project predicting what the future women will look, act and evolve into. A measure of success we anticipate is increasing the interest in STEM fields and supporting more young women in pursuing their dreams of becoming doctor, medical investigators, and innovators in the medical field. The long term measurement of success will come in 2020, when we graduate our first class and all young women are accepted into a four-year universities. GALA students will learn the techniques the students in college are already learning. They will be that far ahead by combining their technological knowledge and understanding of medical issues to become the future leaders finding solutions to public health issues.
Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?
In five years our school will have experienced our first two graduating classes. In those five years, the activation of Launch her Future will have such a huge impact on the exposure these girls are getting to project based learning experiences in the STEM field, that more young women will go into four year colleges and prestigious universities where women are underrepresented STEM fields, finish and become the innovators of tomorrow.