When Anahi, a fifth-grade student at a Los Angeles, California-area school, heard that applications to the DIY Girls Creative Electronics program were accepted on a first come, first serve basis, she rushed home from school to complete her application. After engaging in 10 weeks of hands-on projects and valuable exposure to various engineering disciplines, Anahi’s confidence level in her ability to learn new and challenging things, increased dramatically.
Anahi is one of the hundreds of elementary school students who have completed the Creative Electronics program since 2018. The after-school program enables girls to design and build projects that encourage them to expand their technical skills and to participate in team building activities that create a strong sense of belonging to a supportive community of girls interested in technology.
Building success with the Creative Electronics Program
The PPG Foundation joined DIY Girls on their mission to increase girls’ interest and success in technology, engineering and making through innovative educational experiences and mentor relationships. With grants to the Creative Electronics program, we are helping DIY Girls spark curiosity in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in under-resourced communities.
As part of the program, students learn about electricity and circuit building while gaining practical skills such as troubleshooting through the testing of their own products.
Creativity is fostered through a number of activities, such as constructing a simple circuit using copper wire, batteries and an electronic buzzer. The students learn about how a circuit allows energy to flow from a battery through electrical components to turn on the buzzer.
Another favorite activity is creating an interactive friendship bracelet. The girls construct a simple circuit with a magnetic switch to enable friendship bracelets that light up when its pair is in close proximity.
PPG employee volunteers get involved
For Edit Ovasapyan, a global process engineer at PPG, supporting DIY Girls is personal. Edit, along with several of her colleagues in STEM fields, have worked with DIY Girls to present at local schools and share their career experiences.
“My colleagues and I are examples of women working and thriving in STEM fields at PPG. While in school, I looked up to mentors in the field and was inspired by their leadership. In turn, we now demonstrate to the girls how they can overcome obstacles and become future leaders,” said Ovasapyan.