education social justice women

Black Girls Code

Combating social inequity by giving Black girls access to STEM education

If you’re a girl and Black, there’s opportunity gap

The reason Silicon Valley is predominantly white male isn’t because they’re more capable. It’s because they’ve had the most opportunity. Women and students of color, on the other hand, have fewer STEM education opportunities. Not to mention having to fight a false stereotype that they’re not good enough. To give young girls access to tech education, Kurani created the Black Girls Code lab in New York City.

Causes education, social justice, women
Partners Black Girls Code, Google
Status built
Location New York, USA
Press NowThis, Architectural Digest, ArchDaily, Contract Design, Fast Company

The lab gives girls a place to meet other girls doing tech. It’s an important alternate reality for them to see, different from the face of tech the media shows them. To build their confidence, the lab’s design demystifies how technology works. The main classroom has a 10′ tall mural showing the parts inside CPUs, mobile phones, and digital cameras.

The design Kurani created is a perfect learning space for our girls.

Kimberly BryantCEO, Black Girls Code

Kimberly Bryant
CEO, Black Girls Code

Our design lets girls break things open and explore how they’re made. When you remove the mysterious shell, they see that tech is just parts and pieces, hardware and software they can tinker with and design themselves. Even the ceiling is educational. It resembles a larger-than-life motherboard so girls see how copper circuits work.

Girls arrive in the Spark Room, where they learn more about their coaches and workshops on interactive displays. The room’s copper button flooring gives them an instant and tactile connection to technology.

In workshops, girls disassemble everyday objects and see what’s inside a toaster, calculator, phone.

Kurani also incorporated gamification into the design. One of the lab’s installations challenges girls to match images of popular tech products – like a VR headset – to the hardware powering it inside.

The lab has cozy places for girls to meet with mentors or work together on coding projects. Wall graphics in the dining lounge teach girls how to code their first HTML website.

At the end of the day, girls hop on a stage with raceway lighting to present their creations to peers and parents.

Building culture at home

As they’re leaving, families take Makey Makeys and Little Bits to continue learning and tinkering at home.

Ready to create your learning space?