Redesigning

We're giving the future to the present.

MOUSE Squad of California

About the Organization

MOUSE Squad of California (MOUSE) is a school-based program that prepares underserved students in grades 4-12 for academic and career success in STEM fields by empowering them to learn, lead, and create with technology.

Today, MOUSE reaches more than 3,000 students in grades 4-12 at over 100 California schools. MOUSE performs outreach across California to identify schools with a need for increased STEM education opportunities, and then builds partnerships between schools, districts, and local tech business networks to help make those opportunities available. Once partnerships are forged, MOUSE introduces teachers to its project-based STEM curriculum, administers in-person training to teachers and administrators, and launches activities with students. Once programs are implemented, MOUSE continues to support schools by providing technical and administrative support as students collaborate, experiment, design, and build using socially responsible games, green technology, robotics, and more.


STEM Education
MOUSE strives to help bridge the economic divide and diversify the 21st century workforce. We do this by targeting high-need school districts to implement our program in order to reach students who may not otherwise have access to technology programs. By engaging under-resourced students with our hands-on technology program, we inspire them to pursue a future in STEM resulting in long-term change for individuals, families, and communities.

Currently, 60% of MOUSE Squad students are African-American or Latino and nearly half of MOUSE schools are high-need, with at least 75% of students being eligible for free or reduced lunch. By engaging underserved students with our hands-on technology program, we help ensure the next generation of technology leaders represents the country’s diverse population.
Innovation
One of the most innovative and unique aspects of MOUSE Squad’s program model is that each school is able to tailor the program to best meet their STEM education and technology needs. Participating students – called “MOUSE Squads” – can choose which curriculum modules and tech projects are most relevant to their school. For instance, a Squad may decide to create a new app or website, or a school may need their Squad to establish and maintain an onsite, student-operated tech support help desk. MOUSE’s hands-on program allows Squads to do more than just play with technology, it gives students the opportunity to take essential first steps as designers, makers, and builders; learning to experiment, build from failure, and iterate ideas.

Sparkfactor Awardee: Tech Speaker Series

Technology professionals from local companies partner with MOUSE Squad to provide hands-on design thinking seminars centered on 3-D printing, coding, robotics and digital security. The series runs from February - May and provides an outlet for enthusiastic tech people to give back to their community and expose youth to a variety of STEM topics, education and career pathways. When recruiting professionals, MOUSE Squad aims to bring in an eclectic and diverse group with women, Latino, and African-American professionals making up the core of speakers.

One youth last year said:

Spending time with our speaker was the best part of my day. I learned about her job as a software engineer and found out she was from San Jose. IT meant so much for me to see a woman engineer from where I grew up. I realized that if she can do this work, so can I!