YTF’s United States home is in West Louisville, Kentucky. Its focus is on maintaining middle school girls’ interest in STEM education. Research shows that adolescent girls disengage from science and math during their middle school years, although their interest is very strong. Girls in the U.S. frequently do not have exposure to STEM topics, careers, or knowing women in STEM fields—important aspects of maintaining interest.
Sustainable jobs are available in STEM fields, and are only limited by a person’s exposure as to how technology skills can be used to innovate, solve critical problems, and be used in new ways for income generation. Although most recent data shows that 47% of the labor force is women, only 15% of those in engineering fields are women, with just 5% of African American women and 8% of Latino women. Although females are using technology more than ever before, the percent of technology degrees earned by women is falling: in 1985, it was 37%. Today, it is only 15%.
West Louisville, Kentucky
The demographics of West Louisville are 62% African American, 37% Caucasian, 1% Latino, and 83% of youth living in poverty. The demographics of Louisville as a whole are significantly different: 79% Caucasian, 11% African American, 6% Latino, 2% Asian, and 60% living in poverty.
The likelihood of participation in STEM fields is lower in West Louisville than for other students in Jefferson County Public Schools:
- 62% are below grade level in science—20% less proficient than the entire district
- 75% are below grade level in math—16% less proficient than the entire district
In the U.S., a parent’s educational level is a significant predictor of how their children will do in school. Students whose parents did not finish high school have less than a 60% chance of completing high school themselves: only 57% of children of parents who dropped out complete high school while 95% of children of college graduates graduate. In West Louisville, youth are at greater risk of not completing high school and not attaining degrees needed for the jobs of the future:
- 26% of adults have less than a high school education—this is 101% more than Louisville
- Only 10% of adults have at least a Bachelor’s degree—75% lower than Louisville
Further, only 21% of adults in West Louisville have attained Bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields and STEM-related fields—this is nearly 40% lower than the entire city of Louisville.
YTF’s offices are located at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in West Louisville.
3D Printing Academy for Girls
In April, 2016, YTF held its first 3D Printing Academy for Girls at its offices in West Louisville with fifteen low-income girls, ages 8-12, who were completely captivated by activities and women mentors throughout the week.
The 3D Printing Academy for Girls was brought about by forging strong partnerships with technology, corporate, philanthropic, and local organizations. 3D printers, laptops, desktops, audio-visual equipment, software, supplies, materials, filament, and even food were all donated. Partners include local elementary and secondary schools, such universities as Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and the University of Louisville J. B. Speed School of Engineering, such technology companies as Autodesk, 3DSystems, HP, SolidWorks, MakerBot, Stratasys, and McNeel North America, such corporations as GE, PPG Industries, Meijer, Office Depot, Target, and Walmart, and local vendors such as Learning Partners.
Visit 3D Printing Academy for Girls’ blog here.
Support YTF’s Work in the United States
There are 2 ways to make a financial investment in YTF’s work in the United States. You can mail a check to the YTF mailing address in the U.S. at:
Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF)
119 Evergreen Road
P.O. Box 436411
Louisville, KY 40253
Alternatively, you may donate here to make a secure donation to YTF’s work in the United States.
YTF continuously seeks volunteers to mentor and support youth in their learning and economic growth. To volunteer, email us!