Thursday, November 21, 2013

Giving Thanks

Falling leaves, turkeys, and giving thanks. These are some hallmarks of Autumn and Thanksgiving. This year, LunaTech gave some deliberate thought to giving thanks. We discussed things we were thankful for and people we were thankful to.

 Integrating some of Keri Smith's Guerrilla Art techniques, the girls of LunaTech made thank you cards, stickers, and other notes of gratitude to give to friends, family, and leave in and around the clubhouse to brighten another's day.

 We also captured some of their words of thanks to share with you!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooky Sounds for Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  LunaTech has created a spooky soundtrack in celebration of Halloween.  We recorded our voices then had fun manipulating our voices with Audacity to create some very interesting and sometimes scary sounds!

Listen here.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How I'll Change the World

In celebration of International Day of the Girl, LunaTech thought about the world they want to live in when they grow up.  They thought about what it may look like and how they would be part of it.

Their hopes and dreams for the future include:

  • respect for all ages, genders, and races
  • love for everyone
  • education for girls
  • creative expression through art
  • friendship

And to speak out for girls everywhere, the girls of LunaTech wrote postcards describing how to get the world they want and submitted them to The World We Want For Girls campaign hosted by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

Alejandra believes education is the key to success
and plans to continue her education today in order to lead tomorrow.
Angela believes everyone deserves respect
regardless of their age, gender, or race. 
Gaby is an artist and believes creative
expression can change the world.
Lisbeth believes women shouldn't be judged on their looks alone.
Wendy likes making friends and believes friendship can create change.
She will lead through friendship.
Yamilet believes education is important and plans
to continue her education in order to affect change.
Zully believes love and compassion will change the world.
Showing her love for others, she leads the way for a better tomorrow.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What is Beauty?

Today the girls were asked, "What is Beauty?"  Some answered it was how you look and what you wear.  Some said it depended on if you were a nice person or not.

We discussed some of the stereotypes surrounding women and beauty.  We talked about dressing up, wearing makeup, and being slim.  Then we talked about what other traits make a person beautiful.  We all agreed that it's what inside that makes us beautiful.

The girls came up with a whole list of characteristics, not relating to their appearance, that make them beautiful.

  • humor
  • loyalty
  • friendship
  • kindness
  • love for friends, family, and others
  • responsible
  • eye for fashion
  • helping others
  • intellect
Watch LunaTech's answers here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Personal Flags

Another year of LunaTech has started and the girls created their own personal flags to introduce themselves.  These flags were hand drawn, colored, and collaged by the girls to represent who they are.  We hope you enjoy meeting LunaTech!

Hello There!  We are LunaTech!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Last Day: Water Rockets

On our last day of LunaTech this year, the girls met up at a local park and launched the water rockets they'd constructed and decorated the class before.  It was a hot day and perfect for our launch.  The girls had fun pumping their water bottle rockets full of air, shouting the countdown, and pulling the rip cord - watching with eyes wide of excitement as their rockets shot into the air with a loud pop.

Afterwards, to cool down, we ate popsicles and had a water ballon fight.  It was a great last day of LunaTech and we're all looking forward to next year!

Read more about our water rockets in the Marin IJ article, Girls Rocket to Success.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Girls+Design: Products of Change

As described in our previous post, LunaTech partnered with Youth In Arts to participate in a pilot program of Girls+Design.  Below are several of the projects worked on and completed throughout the Girls+Design program.

In the video above, LunaTech had fun drawing and making shrinky dink tags and charms to put on the canvas bags they would later decorate.

In the video above, the girls were asked "What is important to you?  What do you value most?"  Then, led in an exercise by Suzanne, the girls transformed their values into unique, individual patterns.

In the video above, the girls are taking transferring their patterns onto canvas bags.  These bags were further decorated by the girls to include their personal stories.  Suzanne collected the completed bags and brought them to a group of girls in Africa.

In the video above, the girls introduce themselves and share what's important to them.  This video was created to go along with the canvas bags to the girls in Africa.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Intel Invests in Girls Education

The girls of LunaTech were host to a film crew from CNN doing a TV Commercial for Intel.  We were really excited to show off our space, our work, and our skills.  It was a really fun day and inspiring to see how a professional film crew works!

More information about Intel's Education program can be found on their website.  You can also watch this commerical on iSpot TV.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Paper Electronics

LunaTech explored simple circuits and switches through paper craft.  Using cardstock, copper tape, and LEDs, they created pictures and cards that light up.

This project was inspired by Jie Qi from the High-Low Tech group at the MIT Media Lab.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I'd like to tell you a story about the floating village on Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. It is a lively community and aside from housing its members, there are schools, restaurants, and even karaoke bars.

Life in the floating village can be challenging though. The lake water is used for bathing, cooking, washing, and drinking.  As such, waste management is a big challenge for this community.  Now you may be asking yourself, why would waste management be a factor that deters girls from attending school?

Menstruation is a taboo subject in many cultures.  For the girls and women of the floating village on the Tonle Sap Lake, it means not going to school.  Until recently, there have been no viable sanitation solutions for floating communities.  Previous sanitation designs include digging a trench to hold waste, or flushing waste away to a centralized treatment facility.  Neither of these options are applicable for a floating village.  So when girls begin to menstruate, they miss school, since there is no discrete way of disposing of sanitary napkins.

For this reason, Engineers Without Borders, in hopes of creating cleaner water practices that are gender-sensitive, designed a floating toilet that would help with the disposal of human waste.  It is a great idea and took into consideration the economic factors and culture of the community.  The floating toilets have been trialled in several facilities on the floating village and this achievement alone has shown that girls' access to sanitation, hygiene, and education can be overcome when the practices, preferences, needs, and ideas of girls and women are included in the design process.

One of the founding principles of LunaTech is to introduce girls to technology.  Through this introduction, we believe girls can effect change not only in themselves but in their communities.  Like the girls and women who were part of the design process that lead to gender-sensitive floating toilets in Cambodia, the girls who participate in LunaTech are being taught their voices and ideas do matter and can create solutions to everyday problems.

With this very thought in mind, LunaTech partnered with Youth In Arts, a local non-profit, for a pilot program of Girls+Design.  Girls+Design, a concept created by Suzanne Joyal and Sally Dominguez, hopes to empower and connect girls through engineering and design.

In our first session, Sally told us the story of the Tonle Sap Lake floating toilets.  The girls of LunaTech were shocked that a simple thing such as going to the bathroom was a barrier for girls attending school.  They were happy to hear that engineers had worked hard and incorporated the needs of girls into their product design.

Over the next several weeks, LunaTech worked with Sally & Suzanne, identifying the values that are most important and most defining of who they are.  These values were then translated into pictures and painted on canvas bags that told the story of who each girl was and what she held dear to her.

In the hopes of creating a global connection between girls, the completed bags were collected by Suzanne who brought them to a community of girls in Africa.

We hope to continue this collaboration with Youth In Arts & LunaTech in the Fall of 2013.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

LunaTech Celebrates You

March 8, 2013 was International Women's Day.  While women have the right to vote, control their reproductive health, and get an education, they are still being discriminated, hurt, and overlooked.

LunaTech opened up and talked about some of the stereotypes, mean rumors and feelings of being left out that they've experienced.  They also discussed times when they were most happy, celebrated, and honored.

So to celebrate in our collective beauty, LunaTech created a special message for all women.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Engineering Art

This week, LunaTech members became engineers, designing and building Rube Goldberg Machines that make art.

Working with simple recycled materials such as cardboard tubes, egg crates, ping-pong balls, straws, tape, plastic cups and containers, the girls were able to create some interesting devices that splattered paint!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Everyone's Unique: An MLK Day Activity

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day LunaTech learned a lesson in tolerance through a collaborative  art project.

Students were asked to define "unique" in their own words.  Some answers were:
"different from everyone else" 
Then we drew an outline of a person on the board and broke it up into four parts: head, torso, legs, feet.  The girls discussed what characteristics and accessories each section may contain such as: eye shape, skin color, height, width, pants, feather boas, curly hair, sandals, etc.  After realizing how many different characteristics and accessories there could be, everyone was given a piece of paper divided into four sections and asked to draw a person's head in the first section.  

Given two minutes to draw, the girls began quickly sketching their people.  After two minutes, they passed their paper to the left, and were given another two minutes to draw the torso.  This continued until all papers were returned to their starting point.  By the end, we had a lot of variety and many different types of people drawn.

The girls were asked how they differed from the person drawn on their paper.  This seemed like an easy question to the girls and soon began rattling off all the many ways they were different from their drawing. Some examples: 
"her hair is short, mine is long"
"she is wearing a dress, I hate dresses"
"her skin is not the same color as mine"
"she looks like a boy and I don't"
Then the girls were asked what they may have in common with the person drawn on their paper.  This was a harder question.  At first, many answered, "Nothing!"  But then we asked if their best friends were exactly like them.  They answered, "Of course not."  We asked them think of these drawings as a new friend, and again asked what they may have in common.  It was still a little difficult, but many of the girls were able to think of things they had in common.  Some example:
"if she's a person, she must breath just like me"
"she's outside at the beach, I like the beach"
"there are cats and dogs next to her, I like cats and dogs too"
"she's holding someone's hand, maybe she likes someone just like me"
And here are our new friends:

Our lesson in tolerance showed the girls not only how unique they are, but also how unique everyone is and that is something to be cherished and appreciated.  We believe it is a lesson that should be practiced everyday.