Black Girls Code Lab

Black Girls Code, the non-profit with a cult-like following for its mission to teach computer science to girls, partnered with Kurani to design a tech exploration lab for girls. The space is home for staff, student workshops, hack-a-thons, tech panels, and parent-daughter events. Now, girls in New York have a lab of their own where they can channel their inner Shuri — Black Panther’s inventive-genius sister.

We designed the lab to demystify how technology works. In the main classroom, girls are surrounded by wall graphics illustrating the anatomy of seminal technologies like a CPU, mobile phone, and digital camera.

The design takes you back to breaking things open and exploring how they’re made. When you remove the mysterious shell, the girls can see that tech is just parts and pieces, hardware and software they can tinker with and design themselves. 

Even the ceiling has been designed to be a larger-than-life motherboard so girls can learn how copper circuits work.

Girls enter the lab through a Spark Room, where interactive displays get them excited about the day’s workshop and their coaches. Copper touchpoints on the floor give them an instant and tactile connection to technology.

Before and during workshops, girls get to play with gadgets and everyday objects that have been cracked open by the staff.

Or they can play an interactive game of matching the shells of popular products like VR headsets and a Playstation with the hardware powering them from the inside.

The lab also has cozy places for girls to meet with mentors or work together on coding projects. In the dining lounge, the walls even have messaging that teaches girls how to code their first HTML website.

An elevated stage with raceway lighting puts girls in the spotlight as they present their tech creations to parents and fellow girls.

As they’re leaving for the day, girls can take home tinkering kits like Makey Makeys and Little Bits and continue learning and exploring with their families.

Want to build a lab for STEM? or students of color? Kurani can help