December 1, 2016

DIY Girls is proud to announce that, in partnership with San Fernando High School, has been awarded the Lemelson-MIT Grant. We are one of 15 InvenTeams of high school students nationwide that will each receive up to $10,000 in grant funding to solve real-world problems through invention. As part of the Grant, the DIY Girls InvenTeam will have the opportunity to travel to MIT for EurekaFest in June 2017 to present their work.

“As adolescents, we never thought we could take action to solve the issues we were passionate about. Whenever I thought about the social issues that plagued the U.S and how much I wanted to resolve them, I always thought of myself accomplishing it as an adult,” says Aracely Chavez. However, this all changed when we were introduced to DIY Girls. Through DIY Girls, we learned about coding as we volunteered at Creative Coding summer camp and about the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams, a grant opportunity available to teams that created an invention geared towards solving an issue in their community.

After weeks of deliberation, we decided that homelessness in Los Angeles is an issue that we should focus on because it is a daily reality we all must confront. The San Fernando Valley saw a 36 percent increase in homelessness this year, to 7,100 residents. It is with a corresponding sense of urgency that we have sought to apply engineering principles and processes toward the development of a device that we believe will go a long way in serving the homeless population in Los Angeles - a system to provide temporary shelter for homeless people.

Because this issue is very close to home, we have made it our goal to make this backpack happen. We’ve let ourselves ignore this issue for far too long. We must act to make LA a better place to live.