Iridescent has engaged 21,000 children and parents in open-ended engineering design challenges. Evaluations show that the program boosts children's interest in challenging STEM activities, prompts parents to do more hands-on science with their children, and helps more parents believe their children could have a career in science or engineering.
Iridescent's mission is to inspire and support children from underrepresented communities to become problem solvers, creators, engineers, scientists, and inventors. Our goal is to lift communities out of generational poverty by increasing access to technical careers.
We leverage technology and parent networks to achieve the necessary intensity and dosage of support. Our approach has three aspects:
Engineers as Teachers: Engineers and technology professionals go through a science and technology communication training program through which they learn to communicate their passion to children.
Family Science Courses: Engineering professionals lead open-ended, hands-on, engineering-design courses with children and their parents.
Technovation Challenge: A project-based program combining computer science and entrepreneurship for high school girls and women professionals in technology.
Iridescent needs support to realize its bold vision to develop one of the world's largest collections of excellent, unique, open-ended,and cutting-edge engineering design challenges. What's more, it aims to bring this world-class curriculum to the neediest communities across the globe. In addition, Iridescent gives STEM professionals unparalleled opportunities to volunteer as teachers, mentors, or even consultants in fields such as software development or analytics.Funders and Partners
Office of Naval Research
National Science Foundation
Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation
Leonetti/Oâ€(TM)Connell Family Foundation
University of Southern California
New York Community Trust/Hive
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against CTEq's Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.