Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Catch up with YWCA Pasadena's After School Program - March 2017

Our Girls Empowerment After School Program once again partnered with the ArtReach in the month of April.

The girls collaborated with representatives from art center to brainstorm ideas for a new mural in Pasadena. First, they thought of ideas of what objects, concepts, and people are important to them. Then they looked at reference photos that they could use when they were creating their concept art. The representatives then took the art they created and they'll incorporate it into the finished design.

The girls also had a chance to create using clay! Each girl got to make their own personal clay project based on their favorite animals, characters, and more.

They were also able to create their own cardboard pinhole cameras. An ArtReach representative guided them in making them and then took them around the neighborhood to take pictures.

The YWCA also partnered with Planetary Society. The girls got to use a solar telescope , spectroscope. They also created and used their own DIY pinhole projectors so that they will be prepared to view the upcoming solar eclipse in August. They also learned about how scientists determine what elements exists on other planets.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Girls Empowerment in February

There were a lot of great activities to be had in February during our Girl's Empowerment After School programs.

Team building and cooperation are invaluable tools for the girls to learn early on. One way that we have them build up those skills are through games. The girls were tied together at the wrists and then tasked with creating a delicious bagel pizza snack for the day. They had to assign roles, coordinate their movements, and make sure that they had enough made for everyone to have the tasty snack.

Feb 2 - TechgyrlsFeb 2 - Techgyrls
Feb 2 - Techgyrls

We continued to develop this skill through a poetry activity. The girls worked as a group to create works of poetry line by line. The first participant started the poem off and each successive girl added her own spin to the poem .

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Participants were once again able to take a trip to the Apple Store for a workshop, this time on video production. They worked in groups to plan shoot and edit a video using iPads, Macs, and iMovie. They had free reign to decide what kind of video they wanted to make one was a documentary , one a thriller, and one a music video journey through the apple store. The girls really loved learning a new skill and had a lot of fun getting creative with their group videos.


For Valentine's Day the girls had a special project lined up. They incorporated LEDs into Valentine's Day cards and favors for their loved ones. They made flowers, pop-up cards, valentines, and others.

Valentines' Day LED FlowersValentines' Day LED FlowersValentines' Day LED FlowersValentines' Day LED FlowersValentines' Day LED Flowers

The girls also learned a simple way of transforming their cell phones into a Virtual Reality experience. They cut and assembled cardboard VR holders, fit the lenses into the viewers, and attached velcro fasteners to complete the base design. They then were able to decorate their holders with sequins, pom-poms, pictures, and anything else that they wanted to use to create their custom viewer.

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Next month will bring more collaborations, new experiments, and great art projects.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

YWCA After School Programs Celebrate the Holidays and Participate in a Social Movement


The holidays dominated December and January with good cheer and fun crafts. Our annual holiday party was a fun time for all. Thanks to a partnership with Toys For Tots the girls each received gifts.


The girls also made gingerbread houses with gingerbread kits. They had lot of fun decorating with the frosting and candy that our Executive Director, Jessica Kubel, taught them to make.


Later in the month, Jessica also taught them the history of  Hannukah and how to make dredels.


After Winter Break, the girls got a chance to participate in social action by making signs for the Women's March. They learned more about the importance of art in political movements and got creative with the messages that they wanted to send out with the women attending the march.


January also brought some new science activities. The girls learned first how to grow borax crystals on pipe cleaners. Then once they were more proficient, they made keychains, necklaces, and other keepsakes out of their creations.


 Jomie also introduced the girls to LilyTiny, a small programmable circuit board that lights LEDs in sequence. She used this circuit board to inspire the girls to create their own light-up stuffed characters. Each girl designed, cut out, and sewed their character. Then they used conductive thread to sew in the LilyTiny circuit board and LED lights.