Making for Good: Empowering Girls to Improve Air Quality in Their Community

submission by diygirls

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

DIY Girls

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Organization(s) instagram handle(s):

Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


DIY Girls’ mission is to increase girls’ interest in technology, engineering and making through hands-on educational experiences that promote girls’ early exploration with technology, self-confidence and support aspiration to careers in STEM.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


‘Making for Good’ is a DIY Girls initiative that implements the design thinking process to empower girls to identify and prototype solutions to issues encountered in their communities. We will expand our ‘Making for Good’ project to investigate air quality using open-source technology and propose solutions for a Los Angeles with clean air by 2050. This project enables girls and others to become advocates for the change they want to see in their communities.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

(e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County):

Pacoima, San Fernando, Panorama City

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.


Our ‘Making for Good’ initiative challenges girls to think about issues in their community by leading them through the engineering design process to build real prototypes of products and services that can improve the problem. This year we have applied this process to health issues. DIY Girls proposes to apply our ‘Making for Good’ process to investigate air quality with the use of technology that will result in student-led solutions for a Los Angeles with clean air by 2050. With support from LA2050, hundreds of girls will take action to improve air pollution in their community and build tech devices that will help others to also take action.

1. Girls in our elementary school programs will use handheld air quality sensors to collect, display, and share environmental and air pollutant data using smartphone technology. Data will be available online and displayed as a map. After learning about how air quality can affect one’s health, girls will implement the design thinking process to make real, physical prototypes of their ideas for solving the air quality issues with 3D modeling software and a 3D printer.

2. Middle school girls will investigate whether tree canopy coverage correlates with air quality and pollution in their neighborhoods by designing and building an aerial photography vehicle that will help them survey the tree canopy coverage. Combining this with data collected by sensors, girls will be able to see a correlation between tree coverage and air quality.

3. Girls in our high school program will learn valuable technical skills as they design and make wearable air quality indicators that illuminate LEDs in response to sensor measurements received by a mobile app. These wearable indicators are visual tools that will spark conversation within the community about air quality.

4. Girls will be able to speak confidently about air quality in their community and it’s effects on health. They will be prepared to lead workshops where participants build and take home a small air quality indicator empowering them to collect data and take action.

As a result of these activities, girls will be equipped to address local government agencies on youth-led, research-based immediate actions that would improve air quality, and consequently, the quality of life in their communities. This project is a hands-on, engaging way for girls to find their voice, build their confidence, and become advocates for the change they want to see in their communities.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


We will gather data using pre and post surveys and interviews. The pre and post assessments include information about the girls in our programs and workshop participants’ experience and measure knowledge of air quality issues in their communities. Data will be analyzed at the end of each program cycle.

Our evaluation instruments will be designed to measure our objectives:

1) Girls will demonstrate understanding of technical concepts and skills related to the project

2) Girls will share findings and propose solutions

3) Community members will commit to take at least one action to improve air quality as a result of attending workshops

We will also track specific actions taken to improve air quality based on the environmental data that is collected and shared. We want to know if these actions made a difference in the community such as increasing public awareness, identifying causes of poor air quality, and reducing health problems related to not having clean air.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

25 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

It's important for young girls to be empowered to change their community and make LA a great place to live! This project is amazing and definitely something that other cities can also do to improve air quality

by esthelaperez
6 months ago

Good luck girls!!! Your proposal is awesome and we are rooting for you!!

by susannacdb
6 months ago

What's more important than educating girls, toward higher ed, self determination and AWAY from cultural low expectations and teen pregnancy? NOTHING! DIYgirls must win!

by GracielaTS
6 months ago

Luz's passion and flawless execution of DIY Girls is a breath of fresh air.

by machiko
6 months ago

I am personally invested in ensuring we offer Angelenos the opportunity to understand their environment. Air is something we need to survive and it is so important for the next generation to understand how to collect and analyze air quality data. Great project!

by tarabrown
6 months ago

I really believe in this project! The all-round impact is powerful.

by sylcecil
6 months ago

I'm so proud of the Girks and excited that they want to use technology to change our community

by luzrivas
6 months ago

Excited that voting starts tomorrow!

by diygirls
6 months ago

It is important for our youth to feel like they can have an impact in their environment and to raise awareness tp their every day situation.

by yorsh_del
6 months ago

It's great to see girls of the community address air quality issues in the North East San Fernando Valley!!!
(‘’) (‘’)_/

by FelineSociety_
6 months ago

I love it when students get to see a real-world context for the things they are learning. It's so much more engaging, I wish I had had these opportunities when I was in school!

by JoWright
6 months ago

DIY Girls is meeting a significant need, in a really innovative manner. They are the best of what it means to be an Angeleno!

by Mongeliliana
6 months ago

I wish something like this had been available when my daughter was younger. Such a wonderful venture, so many skills learned and utilized.

by anetwest
6 months ago

YES!! This is massively important. Very cool.

by meganwest
6 months ago

Excited to work on this project and see the impact it has on our community!

by diygirls
6 months ago


by diygirls
6 months ago

Thank you for believing in us!

by diygirls
6 months ago

Thank you Tara!

by diygirls
6 months ago


by luzrivas
6 months ago

That's exactly what we're trying to accomplish

by diygirls
6 months ago

Yes! it's a problem that our girls want to be a part of solving.

by diygirls
6 months ago

We tried this strategy earlier this year and the girls were very engaged. Context really makes a difference when

by diygirls
6 months ago


by diygirls
6 months ago

We do too! Our team is so jealous of our girls we serve because they get to do cool tech stuff that we never did as kids.

by diygirls
6 months ago

Thanks Megan! We agree that it's important and would love our girls to help solve these issues.

by diygirls
6 months ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0

Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015