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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Technovation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: General Science, Technology

Mission: Empowering girls and families to identify community problems and create tech and engineering solutions that develop their leadership and creative problem-solving skills.

Results: To date, we have engaged ~140,000 young people across 100+ countries, including the US, supported by 25,000+ mentors, educators, and parents. Over 9,000 apps and AI prototypes have been created by girls and families tackling everything from healthcare to climate change.

Target demographics: under-served and underrepresented young people -- especially girls

Geographic areas served: US and internationally

Programs: Technovation Girls equips young women ages 10-18 with the skills to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. With support from volunteer mentors, girls work in teams to code mobile apps that address real-world challenges that impact them.

Community Stories

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Monica G.5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I loved working at Technovation. It's an ecosystem of staff and volunteers that are truly committed to the cuase. It also changed my career trajectory. Since then, I've formally studied UX design and R code. I'm forever thankful!

kmorton5061

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a former employee of Technovation:Girls, I saw firsthand the impact of our program on girls' leadership development. Many girls who participated in Technovation:Girls have gone on to showcase their products to elected officials and the media, present at tech conferences, and start Technovation clubs at their schools. Many girls have even launched their own non-profits and initiatives to address community problems. Most importantly, these young women have gone on to pursue an education and career in tech, becoming role models for younger girls, and breaking down gender barriers.

The staff members at Technovation are committed to ensuring that they train the next generation of tech leaders. Technovation has mobilized a volunteer force of thousands around the world to provide hands-on learning experiences for youth. I was proud to work at Technovation and look fondly at my time at Technovation, both personally and professionally.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My experience as a mentor and judge with Technovation has been some of the most fulfilling volunteer work I've ever done. You have the opportunity to guide and learn from young minds and there really is never a dull moment! The platform and support structure could use some attention but by and large, I'd highly recommend supporting their work.

Jennifer F.12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with Technovation (formerly Iridescent) since 2014 to deliver their technology entrepreneurship program for girls in Canada. Technovation Girls is a fabulous program. The curriculum really inspires girls to continue with technology. It is great to see the girls develop into confident app developers, marketers and public speakers over the course of the four months. The outcomes from the program are excellent, with over 50% continuing studies in Technology. We now have girls from the first years that we ran it who have graduated from computer science and are working for tech companies! The delivery model makes this STEM program accessible to all girls, especially underserved communities, which was a key consideration for partnering with them. The feedback from our volunteer mentors, judges and instructors has been really strong. We have many volunteers that return year after year as they find the experience so rewarding. Many of the girls also return both as participants and peer mentors helping to keep the program growing and thriving in Canada. Technovation provides a lot of support for the volunteers and really creates a global community!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've worked with the Technovation team to engage our company's employees in volunteer programs over the last two years. Our volunteers have supported students through in-person events in the community, as well as virtual programs with families and girls around the world. The Technovation staff is passionate, responsive, and forward-thinking. They consistently ask for our feedback and collaborate with us to improve on the experience for both the volunteers and participants. Get involved with Technovation if you're looking to be inspired!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Technovation has innovative and exciting programs for families and young girls. Learners and mentors from across the world have the opportunity to connect and develop their ideas together.

Angela H.6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A great organization with a great mission. I worked here for 2 years and it taught me a lot! It has an awesome initiative and its people work exceedingly hard to get things done. I am forever grateful for the learning experience.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Technovation is a tech education nonprofit that I had the privilege of serving for ~4 years, supporting the development efforts as the organization worked towards transforming the lives of communities in need through providing access to quality education. The programs developed and run by Technovation are geared towards engaging underrepresented groups - specifically girls, minorities and those from low-income backgrounds - in STEM related learning experiences, with the primary goal of ensuring every young person has the opportunity to succeed, and realize their potential. The medium is through STEM focused education, however success is measured in the knowledge that there is an opportunity for each person to pursue any career path that speaks to them - that they have the ability to do so, and the opportunity. Technovation has programs designed to support parent engagement through project-based curriculum, as well as for girls specifically around entrepreneurship and leveraging technology to create meaningful solutions to problems in their own communities. Volunteerism provides an essential component to program success, by offering skills-based mentorship opportunities for interested volunteers to inspire the next generation of innovators and leaders. I can’t recommend this organization and their work more, and wish them continued success in changing the world for the better.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past year of 2017- 2018, I had the most wonderful opportunity to be a student ambassador for Iridescent's Technovation challenge program, for girls all over the world to tackle real world problems through developing apps. Technovation does an amazing job at encouraging girls, especially those in underserved communities, to explore their interests in STEM fields, and be a bigger part of their community, as well as motivating them to pursue a STEM career in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I first volunteered with iridescent in 2017 applying to be a Technovation Regional Ambassador for Northern Uganda. Initially I was a beneficially of the engaging and empowering program as I participated in the challenge for two years. Technovation changed my life in so many ways, I became more confident, more acquainted with Technology and programming. My experience in the program inspired me into my current career path, to be able to inspire more girls through Technovation. I work with Oysters & Pearls - Uganda an organisation that cultivates Technology education in northern Uganda which partners with Iridescent to coordinate the Technovation Challenge in our region.

I have witnessed the impact iridescent makes in girls' lives through the organised program materiel, equipment donations like computers, internet, smart phones for the undeserved communities to also be able to participate and make a change in their lives.
From 65 girls that participated in 2017 to over 100 girls in 2018, we believe that girls are being inspired to dream big, work towards achieving those dreams and to aim at acquiring higher education.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the past year of 2017-2018, I have been working with Iridescent as a Technovation Student Ambassador, a challenge for young girls to develop an app for real-world issues. I was taken away by the opportunities that it provides for young women around the world, especially for girls in underserved communities. Over the course of the Technovation challenge, girls are encouraged to think critically, work with fellow classmates and friends to explore new interests in technology that they are passionate about. The support system from the Program really helps the participants to challenge obstacles throughout the competition, and help them learn so many new things along the way. The change in self-confidence that these girls develop throughout the season is remarkable. Not only does it motivate young women to take on new leadership roles, it allows them to become even greater role models for other girls all around their community.

William F. Awuku J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Iridescent's programs are so important and focus on what young people can do if given the opportunity. Iridescent's Technovation Challenge is such a great example - giving girls a platform to be innovative and help find Technological solutions to problems in their local communities is just amazing.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Iridescent is doing amazing work with its Technovation program, since I started volunteering for them 2 years ago I've had the opportunity to change the lives of so many young girls and I couldn't be more appreciative of that.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am Sejal Sahni, a 17 year old school student from India. I participated in the Technovation Challenge in 2015 and consequently went on to become the Student Ambassador for the program in my region.
Over the last 3 years, I have seen numerous girls, including myself, benefit from the unique platform that Technovation offers, and blossom into confident young women.
Technovation gives girls an all round experience of launching a tech startup-including all the nitty gritties, and also provides them also 360 degree view of working in the corporate sector.
What is so unique about this Program is that more than being just a competition, it provides a support system to its participants by providing mentorship, guidance and support, even after the competition is over.
Technovation is truly helping change the attutude of girls towards Science and Technology, one girl at a time...

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Iridescent is an important and revolutionary company that provides open-access STEAM curricula to make engineering and STEAM less daunting for beginners. I started interacting with the company as a PhD student and by doing so, I completely adopted their teaching strategies to: (1) focus on iterative development and improvements and (2) to ensure out-of-the-box solutions are generated by using open-ended design challenges. This teaching approach has been extremely helpful when I interact with students from gK-12 and beyond. I hope Iridescent continues to grow and influence more communities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with one of their major initiatives Technovation as a mentor to the target population for over 3 years now and the sheer simplicity of the solution they put out there that has scaled across the globe and given an opportunity for girls across the world to dream big leveraging technology and entrepreneurial skills is mind boggling. I have heard a number of success stories of girls making a difference in their communities having been inspired by their own experiences in Technovation. All of this goes for due credit to the leadership for their vision and the team that has been delivering year after year with utmost passion and dedication. Sharing a pic of 10 high school girls from Bengaluru who had a life changing experience part of this program and have inspired 100s of other girls in their vicinity to take part and dream big.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am seeing their work for past 2-3 years and it's pretty impressive how they have been supporting girls from across the world. We attended one of their events last year as one of our friends recommended it - it was the final even in which winners were announced. We got a chance to look at various apps, hear pitch from girls who developed those apps and vote for them too. All we saw was well planned/ executed event, mind blowing apps and excellent attitudes. My daughter who was 8 then was so inspired that she started understanding more about apps the same evening. She even came up with a nice app idea which came to us as a surprise. We never knew she would be so interested in this area.
She's waited eagerly for past 2 years to turn 10 and be eligible for enrollment. She's learning basic coding and is already brainstorming app ideas with her friends. It's so satisfying to see how they've developed a sense of community and come up with such innovative ideas to serve our community. As a mom, I feel so proud to see how she's working as a team together yet demonstrating her leadership skills. In my opinion, this is not just an app making contest, it is a forum for young girls interested in this field to explore their talents and know what they're capable of.
Kudos to the team who encourage girls from all places - some are from towns I didn't even know existed.
Their events are so impressive that it gives you goose bumps. You see young girls, pouring confidence, happy tears, proud parents/ mentors.
Can't wait for my daughter to take this once in a lifetime journey.

Jessica T.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Iridescent- Curiosity Machine shares engineering challenges for PK-12 students and families. Their online platform is easy to navigate and it provides the connections to Problem Based Learning strategies and provides investigations that express the goals of the Next Generation Science Standards. I have participated in two of Iridescent's presentations. The first was at Maple Primary Center where there were over 200 parents and PK - 1st grade students participating in an engineering challenge. The second event was with parent and community representatives. In both of the presentations, participants had rich instructional conversations utilizing the academic vocabulary needed to effectively communicate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) practices.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been inspired by Iridescent Learning since our inception. Each of the engineering challenges is well thought out and we love how mentors are able to provide feedback on the design process. We plan to use the Curiosity Machine in our elementary program.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization creates user friendly and engaging platforms to assist youth and educators in STEM related fields. Their programs include face to face, online mentorship, professional development and peer to peer methods. They have a large network of professionals that contribute and collaborate along side them. I regularly refer to their "Curiosity Machine" platform when I am mentoring classroom teachers. It is a high quality learning tool that makes learning science interactive while teaching important web-literacy skills like reading, writing and participating on the web.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Iridescent does a great job with reaching out to community schools to foster STEM education for children. They have numerous programs and I am involved in the program called Curiosity Machine. Curiosity Machine has over 90 activities that children can build and participate in to learn about the STEM fields. Mentors like me help them along on this journey. The kids feel connected when interacting with someone in the STEM field. I am privileged to be part of this organization where I can help the next generation of children explore the STEM field and the opportunities that await them in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first started working with Iridescent in college, where I was involved in a family science program. Using common household materials, we helped children and their parents build rudimentary engineering devices (i.e. balloon-propelled cars, sky scrapers, suspension bridges, etc) and taught them basic scientific principles. Shortly after, Iridescent launched Curiosity Machine, which is an online version of the family science program. Children participating in the program are guided by mentors via the online platform to design, build, and rebuild various items of their choosing.

I have been volunteering for Curiosity Machine for more than two years now, and I can say the program has really grown since then. The development team is constantly and actively looking for ways to make the mentoring experience better for both the mentees and mentors, and new design challenges are always being produced. We've expanded from individuals participating in the program, now to include summer camps and entire classes from different schools across the country. It has been awesome working with the kids and to see the advancements Iridescent Learning has made in getting science to be more accessible to the general public.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Iridescent is sparking curiosity among the youth. They utilize engineers in the field to help teach these students.

3 TAME_STEM

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering has been thrilled to partner with Iridescent and Boeing in creating Engineering Design Challenges for the 2016 Divisional and State STEM Competitions. They also provided an Educator Workshop for our teachers at State and we received glowing feedback about how valuable both the challenge and the workshop were for our 400 participants. TAME has also been proud to partner with Iridescent and Boeing for regular Family STEM Nights at a middle school in El Paso, Texas. The five-week sessions there brought parents and children together to design, build, and test specific projects to encourage families to engage in learning. We look forward to continuing this work helping inspire students in STEM across the Lone Star state.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have worked with Iridescent on a few projects and had nothing but a positive experience with them. They have truly remarkable staff who are dedicated to their work. We always look forward to collaborating with them whenever the opportunity arises.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the STEM Lab Teacher at Schmitt Elementary in Columbus, Indiana, and this is my second year using Iridescent's Curiosity Machine. All grades (K-6) visit STEM lab as a Specials class once a week, for a total of 740 students. Grades 3-6 bring their Chromebooks to STEM lab for the online platform of Curiosity Machine. We have online and in class mentors, which are engineers from Cummins, Inc. All grades follow the Engineering Design Process which is part of each Curiosity Machine challenge. Each challenge is divided into 3 sessions (3 weeks). Iridescent has been a vital component in the development of our STEM lab.

Grace46

Advisor

Rating: 5

Iridescent has empowered girls globally to tackle social challenges in their communities through technology. By hosting a challenge called Technovation to encourage girls to form teams, come up with a mobile app addressing a challenge, and then pitch it to judges globally, this nonprofit takes a comprehensive approach to STEM learning. I've personally seen the confidence that girls have gained through this program in places like Bangalore to Silicon Valley.

Courtney719

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of collaborating with Iridescent to develop curriculum for Family Science Nights that my school cohosted. They are nothing short of amazing, flexible, supportive, and inspiring! The experiences that Iridescent helped create were hands-on and engaging. Both the parents and kids thoroughly enjoyed every week! I can't wait to work with them again in the spring!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Engineering for ALL! - Our elementary school has been using Curiosity Machine for the last three years. We absolutely love the opportunities it provides our students and families! All grade level teachers use the Curiosity Machine platform each trimester as part of their STEM curriculum. Additionally, teachers WANT to incorporate extra design challenges into their before and after-school enrichment classes because of the engagement and excitement it brings to the classroom. I personally have used it for three years and each design challenge works to improve student collaboration, writing, and problem-solving skills. Students get very excited to summarize their finding and upload their images and videos. Our next design challenge will begin in two weeks and I can’t wait to get started with our students. Thank you Curiosity Machine for an unbeatable addition to our STEM program!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We use the Curiosity Machine in our K-6 building as a stand-alone STEM lab. The platform enables our students to learn the engineering process, learn to use a growth mindset toward challenges, and cover science standards that normally don't get reached in the classroom. The support team at Iridescent is accessible and open to our feedback to improve. We are fortunate to have them as a partner and to be able to use CM in our school.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The process they have created considers every every person involved, the volunteer, the parent and the student. Their materials and training make it an easy process to continue on for your community. Every person we worked with was helpful, creative and genuinely partnering with us. I know they are still a resource to us!

The families that participated in the science nights raved. It is unique to be able to include all member of a family, these activities naturally differentiate so that all ages felt engaged.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

For the past few years I have been scheduling Curiosity Machine programs for tween and teen patrons at the Palisades Branch Library. Usually the events are also attended by parents and/or caregivers. The programs make scientific learning fun. We use the programs to teach the scientific method as well. Normally, we view the videos that accompany each CM Challenge. We distribute paper and writing utensils to have participants map out their designs. We provide the recommended materials. If they get "stuck," we then show the videos that explain how the challenge can be met. The programs are extremely well received and we have families that attend each one. What I like best about the CM is that most of the scientists who are interviewed are female. That says volumes to little girls who are afraid of math/science and gives them the encouragement that shows them that they too can be a STEAM girl.

Photos:
https://get.google.com/albumarchive/103426831323749786138/album/AF1QipPM-qcfKDt5o4CBYzDfBYrDq9kTde5uSvjlGlby?source=pwa&authKey=CP2qiaLJotaN3wE

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Iridescent's mission, vision, values and people are simply fantastic. We at Cummins Inc. (a fortune 200 company) partnered with them in June 2015 to implement their Curiosity Machine (CM) program in our local community - Columbus, IN. First, we piloted the program at three Columbus parks. After the success of the pilot, we implemented the CM program at a title-1 school, Schmitt Elementary where ~400 students (3rd-6th graders) completed ~700 design challenges during 2015 - 2016 on the Curiosity Machine platform. Seeing students thrive in the program and connect with their Cummins' mentors, the school decided to integrate it into their regular curriculum.

The most awesome part about the platform is that the design challenges are structured in the format of the engineering design process - a process that we not only use at Cummins in our day-day work, but also in our day-day lives. Hence, as children follow this process while doing the design challenges, they get a first-hand experience of how it is like to be an engineer - a problem solver. Additionally, the platform helps students develop their curiosity, creativity, and persistence to experiment and find solutions despite failures.

Here at Cummins we have worked with several non-profits but the amount of enthusiasm that the CM program generated and the widespread impact it has had in just one year make's Iridescent the best STEM non-profit out there. Kudos to the whole Iridescent team for actually making a difference in people's lives.

25

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The leaders of Iridescent are very professional. The Engineers as Teachers program is an excellent idea. Not only do the students get to meet and work with aspiring engineers but the engineering students have an opportunity to talk about their plans to the students. They students who came to our school were so well matched for our students. Tara and Kara prepared the engineering students. They brought everything they needed. In one instance, we only needed to provide water. The students remained engaged throughout the 4 weeks they were on campus. Students looked forward to their visits. As a former teacher, I remember the first day I stepped in front of students for the first time. I could not have asked for a better way to get students to realize that engineers are people, too, and that there are so many different avenues they can follow if they choose to be engineers. I cannot recommend Iridescent and the Engineers as Teachers program enough. An excellent way to get role models into the schools. Who knows - some may become teachers, I hope. Just what we need, excellent, passionate teachers to instruct our future engineers and scientists.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing nonprofit! The organization focuses on teaching local elementary, middle, and sometimes high school students about science and engineering. They have weekly in-school sessions, which take place in the classroom, as well as "Family Science", which is a 2-hour session with the kids and their families. But what sets Iridescent apart is their dedication to hands on activities, where students are actively involved in both the design and build phases. In addition, they recruit engineering students from the neighboring universities and provide extensive training on how to be an effective teacher. The experience challenges the university students to accurately simplify difficult concepts, while the kids get to apply their creativity to engineering. At the conclusion of the 4-week session, Iridescent quantitatively assesses the improvement of the kids and the teaching quality of the students. They provide feedback so that each session gets better and better. At a time when the number of American students going into science and engineering is declining, programs like these are critical to inspiring upcoming generations and keeping the US science and technology-oriented.

23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started my involvement with Iridescent about a year ago by helping out a friend as she taught a Family Science Session to elementary school students. I had a great time and was able to get involved in my Fall semester, taking a course at USC, AME 490 - Engineers as Teachers. I taught an optics course for 7th Grader that I developed with the help of Kara and Tara. For many of the students, I was one of the first engineers that they had ever met. I was able to communicate scientific and engineering principles to them while participating in hands on science lessons. I just recently taught Iridescent's Animal Locomotion lessons to 3rd through 5th grade students. Tara and Kara, who run the operations, are great. They are super fun and animated. They also answers email super fast.