Technovation (formerly Iridescent Learning)
Technovation is the global tech education nonprofit that inspires girls to be leaders and problem solvers in their lives and their community.
We are a global tech education nonprofit that empowers girls to become leaders, creators and problem-solvers.
Founded in 2006 as Iridescent, Technovation was born out of an idea CEO Tara Chklovski had gotten hooked on as an engineer at USC. Looking around at her fellow grad students, Tara realized how few women and people of color were in the room. Determined to change that – not just in her cohort, but everywhere – she left and started our organization to reach young people and get them excited about science, technology, and innovation.
Technovation’s first program, Family Science, began in 2007 at one school in Los Angeles, and then spread to more schools in the area, and eventually the San Francisco Bay Area. From there, the organization began to grow, learning to create programs at school, spreading to New York and Chicago and Florida. And then, in 2010, the Technovation Girls program launched. In 2012, a site dedicated to hands-on design challenges for students of all ages launched, and in 2013, the programs went global.
Since 2013, we’ve focused on improving our model, developing stronger curriculum, engaging more industry experts as mentors, judges, and advisers, and learning about our programs’ impact – and how to deepen it.
Our Technovation Girls program equips young women (ages 8-18) to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. With the support of volunteer mentors and parents, girls work in teams to code mobile apps that address real-world problems.
A collaborative approach
Our learning model
We use a three-part model to help girls develop greater self-efficacy and change their attitudes towards STEM.
1. Identify real-world problems: Participants find a problem in their community and develop a solution to it, which helps bring technology to life in an immediate, tangible way.
2. Build a team: Participants work in teams—girls work with a group of friends supported by a mentor (and a parent, if the girls are younger than 12!) and connected to a local Chapter or Club Ambassador. Together they brainstorm, share the workload, and cheer each other on. When everyone's contributing, everyone is also building a long-term community of learning.
3. Get the Community Involved: We dedicate time to building trust with the local community leaders who bring Technovation to their schools, organizations, or towns. Technovation programs are designed to be flexible, so they can align with diverse community needs and goals and plug in to existing support networks.