“This Girl Is On Fire” T-Shirt Project

To help close the achievement gap, a crowd-sourcing campaign to sell t-shirts to support The Genius Factory

This Girl is on Fire at the Genius Factory

“This Girl Is On Fire” T-shirts will be:
  • Grown in the USA with organic cotton
  • Made in North Carolina
  • Transparent supply chain
  • Water-based inks
The Achievement Gap
For decades, educators have struggled to close the “achievement gap,” the persistent differences in test scores, grades and graduation rates among students of different races, ethnicities and, in some subjects, genders.
According to an American Psychological Association article, a group of social and cognitive psychologists have approach this problem not based on the idea that at least some of these disparities are the result of faulty teaching or broken school systems, but instead spring from toxic stereotypes that cause ethnic-minority and other students such as women to question whether they belong in school and whether they can do well there. While such a major problem might seem to require widespread social change to fix, the psychologists are finding evidence that short, simple interventions can make a surprisingly large difference.
I adopted some of these simple interventions in a class called “Creating Computer Games with Terrance Jackson” that I offered at Larchmont Library last October.
At Larchmont Library we conducted five sessions with local 5th – 8th graders on the following Wednesdays: October 15th, 22nd, 29th, November 5th, and 19th. This is the game that they created:
Roll-a-Ball

Roll-a-Ball

Click here to play.

We are updating the computer gaming class to include Google Cardboard. According to a TechCrunch article:
Google is introducing new SDKs for Android and the Unity game engine today that will make it even easier for developers to create new apps.
The class will also include a VR app for Sphero.
This class was originally designed as The RoC HoPLo Lab to address implicit bias. In a Scientific American article “Time to Raise the Profile of Women and Minorities in Science” written by Brian Welle and Megan Smith of Google, we learn:

Google recently commissioned a project to identify what makes girls pursue education in computer science. The findings reinforced what we already knew. Encouragement from a parent or teacher is essential for them to appreciate their own abilities. They need to understand the work itself and see its impact and importance. They need exposure to the field by having a chance to give it a shot. And, most important, they need to understand that opportunities await them in the technical industry.

It took some time, but Google realized that it recognized zero women with their Google Doodles, the embellishments of their corporate logo on their home page. Little things like this can have big impacts.
The Genius Factory is a non-profit that focuses on education reform and tech diversity by teaching children computer programmingmachine learning, robotics, chess, urban farming, and about having a creative mindset.

The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech

ENIAC

Jean Jennings (left) and Frances Bilas set up the ENIAC in 1946. Bilas is arranging the program settings on the Master Programmer. (Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania)

If your image of a computer programmer is a young man, there’s a good reason: It’s true. Recently, many big tech companies revealed how few of their female employees worked in programming and technical jobs. Google had some of the highest rates: 17 percent of its technical staff is female.
It wasn’t always this way. Decades ago, it was women who pioneered computer programming — but too often, that’s a part of history that even the smartest people don’t know.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/10/06/345799830/the-forgotten-female-programmers-who-created-modern-tech

Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper

Grace Murray Hopper was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. A pioneer in the field, she invented the first compiler for a computer programming language. She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages.
Dan Pink - Purpose

RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, Daniel H. Pink says in, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, his provocative and persuasive new book. The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.
When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system–which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators–doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements: 1. Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives. 2. Mastery— the urge to get better and better at something that matters. 3. Purpose — the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves. ~ Daniel Pink
[Y]ou [cannot] understand why someone [is] healthy [or wealthy] if all you [do is] think about their individual choices or actions in isolation. You [have] to look beyond the individual. You [have] to understand what culture they were a part of, and who their friends and families were, and what town… their family came from. You [have] to appreciate the idea that community — the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with — has a profound effect on who we are. ~ Malcolm Gladwell

The Genius Factory

A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
~ Steve Jobs
Apple-think-different
Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

 

In May 2013 NPR’s Planet Money started a Kickstarter campaign to make a t-shirt and tell the story of how it was made.

Planet Money T-Shirt Kickstarter campaign

They used Kickstarter because it helped them answer a very important question: How many t-shirts should they make? And, for that matter, were there even enough people who wanted a Planet Money t-shirt to make the project viable?
Using labor from places such as Bangladesh and Columbia each t-shirt costed about $12.42.

T-Shirt costs

We will be making our own “The Law Needs Legitimacy” t-shirt using as many high-quality local inputs as possible.

One of the major problems that keeps garment manufacturing overseas and out of the United States is “fast fashion.” An explain in a video on Online MBA:
‘Fast Fashion’ refers to clothing and accessories that are designed to reflect current industry trends, yet produced using less expensive materials to ensure a low price tag. For the last two decades, clothing retailers like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 have popularized Fast Fashion among everyday consumers….
The Fast Fashion trend has also led to environmental concerns. Every year, the clothing industry produces 2 million tons of waste, emits 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide, and uses 70 million tons of water; these figures have significantly risen in the years since Fast Fashion became a retailing standard.
Fast Fashion is also toxic; a Greenpeace Detox campaign report found residues of a variety of hazardous chemicals in clothing made by 20 global fashion brands.
We are buying new consumer products based on rapid changes in fashion that are engineered by corporations. This requires being dissatisfied with things we just bought and being seduced by the idea of instant gratification and novelty. It’s like we’re turning into children.

 

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