Iridescent is a science and engineering education non-profit with the mission to empower the world’s underrepresented young people, especially girls, through engineering and technology, to become innovators and leaders. In order to make a lasting impact on the community, we have learned that you need to work closely with the community including parents and children and the corporations who can provide mentorship and role models. It is important to not only provide meaningful skill-based volunteer opportunities for corporations and their employees, but we also need to provide trainings and help them connect the skills they are developing through volunteer opportunity to their careers. In this talk, we will share how our model works and how it can be mirrored in your community specifically focused on our technology entrepreneurship program called Technovation.
Technovation is the world’s largest technology entrepreneurship program for girls. Through Technovation, girls ages 10-18 identify a problem in their community, develop a mobile app to solve this problem, and launch a startup. Over the course of three months, teams of students learn how to plan, develop, and execute a complete business model and technology product. These young girls go through the same design thinking process any innovator goes through with the help of mentors who offer real-world connections to STEM careers. Not only does this program serve the girls but it also has a very positive impact on the mentors who learn project management skills, technical skills, mentoring skills, and renewed passion for their professions.
Amy Hee Kim, Ph.D., Sr. Director of Corporate Partnership at Iridescent. She has a doctorate in Physical Chemistry from University of Chicago. She was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences, following which she was the STEM Program Manager for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. She was also the Senior Associate Director of Women in Engineering Programs at the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC. At Iridescent, she has led the team that trains scientists and engineers to become role models and mentors for underserved community children. She also manages corporate relations and find ways for connecting skilled-based volunteer opportunities to educational programs in the community.