DemoChicks is a catalyst and multiplier that empowers and enlightens young girls by opening and sharing unique pathways to pursue nontraditional careers in architecture, construction, and engineering (ACE) fields. This enlightenment elevates their future opportunities and provides mentorship and guidance on how to pursue and excel in their nontraditional field of choice.
Put succinctly: We Knock Barriers Down to Build Girls Up.
DemoChicks values access and education as a means of “Doing Well and Doing Good” and, ultimately, successful life and satisfying career. We address education towards girls of color due to distance learning by providing supplemental STEM-oriented education specifically in the ACE fields.
Our programming is centered on the following goals:
1. Encourage young women to consider nontraditional careers historically closed to them, including construction, demolition, architecture, and engineering.
2. Create a network of professional women who have broken the glass ceiling into nontraditional male-dominated fields.
3. Provide mentorship and community-building to all women who are interested in pursuing careers in these fields, as well as supporting the professional growth of existing women professionals in these fields.
We accomplish these goals by hosting:
- DemoChicks On-Line: Hands-on instruction that trains elementary and middle school students to ACE careers; classes include experiments and presentations. Our facilitated sessions are around specific topics (engineering, science, etc.) with interactive activities.
- DemoChicks On-Site: DemoChicks have an extensive network of professionals that generously lend their time by hosting site visits. Among the professionals are project managers, contractors, engineers, forewo/men, architects, and others that enjoy working with our DemoChicks on a variety of projects. We tour project sites on multiple occasions, allowing students to see and experience the planning, execution, monitoring, and completion of construction project phases.
- DemoChicks Ambassadors: DemoChicks Ambassadors are assigned to college students to share insights about their own journey success in order to help students navigate theirs. We believe that “if you can see it, you can be it” and realize the importance of having role models and mentors to help girls and women navigate through the decision-making process of their future careers. We also realize the importance of developing and nurturing relationships and a support system throughout this journey.
- DemoChicks On-Location: DemoChicks visits elementary school classrooms and guides students through in-depth, age-appropriate projects developed by Master Teacher, Shannon Johnson, M.Ed. In an example of one of the location projects, students apply understanding of chemical vs. physical changes in an inquiry-based lab. Students make connections from the lab to the field of chemical engineering, learning how it applies to things they use in daily life. In the culminating project-based assessment, students create a life story of their favorite object through the lens of a chemical engineer.
Rising to Meet this Pandemic Moment. In 2020, DemoChicks pivoted our typically in-person ‘DemoChicks On-Location’ training online to supplement students’ learning during a period of distance learning where many schools focused on the essentials of Math and English Language Arts subject, neglecting science and technology. As schools reopen, we recognize that with the ongoing virtual/in-person hybrid format of many schools will necessitate students being provided with quality supplemental and co-curricular instruction in neglected fields. DemoChicks endeavors to further refine how we deliver on our online educational programming to achieve greater impact for students and ensure our programming is interactive and impactful to supplement students’ learning needs.
Impact: In less than two years, through our dedicated founder, Board members, and curriculum consultant, we served 137 young women and girls. This reach included participants in our industry days and panel discussions; our DemoChicks On-Location program (before transitioning online); and in our DemoChicks On-Line program. Additionally, DemoChicks also provided $2,500 in scholarships to Long Beach students. Most importantly, in surveys gauging students’ experiences in our online programs, youth surveyed consistently indicate that their “knowledge on the topic was increased” and they “learned a lot” during the session.