Iridescent is a science-education nonprofit that helps engineers, scientists and high-tech professionals bring cutting edge science, technology and engineering to high school girls, and underprivileged minority children and their families. Three unique aspects are:
the rigorous training mentors undergo to communicate research and advancements to the public;
the emphasis on parents learning science with their children;
the mutual learning model in which both the students and mentors benefit from "doing science" together.
The model has been successfully implemented by Iridescent over three years at 80 sites in California, reaching 4500 Hispanic and African-American children and adults. Iridescent's programs increase participants' interest in science, content knowledge and self-efficacy. Our objectives are to:
bring exciting science directly to underprivileged communities;
ensure the program has long term impact by involving the parents in the learning;
bring valuable social capital in the form of engineering mentors and role models to these communities.