Retired Starbucks President Howard Behar and Dr. Lynn Behar Partner with iD Tech and Caltech to Help Close the STEM Gender Gap

Girls engaged in STEM at Caltech outreach week.

This summer, Howard and Lynn Behar sponsored two weeks of Girls in STEM at Alexa Café held at Caltech University. The first 14 girls from George Washington Carver Middle School attended the week of July 17, and another 24 girls from Hollenbeck Middle School attended the week of July 24th.

“We are happy to partner with iD Tech each summer to bring coding and technology classes for students to Caltech. This year we’re especially excited to welcome Alexa Café to campus,” says Mitchel J. Aiken, Associate Director for Educational Outreach at Caltech. “The unique opportunity the program provides for girls to explore these fields, tied to projects they’re truly excited about, is quite compelling.”

Alexa Café, a division of iD Tech, is a girls-only environment led by female instructors where girls learn coding, engineering, game design, and more, with a special focus on developing their leadership, entrepreneurship, and social activism skills. “In one week, you’ll see young women creating an anti-bullying video, a nature conservation website, a 3D-printed table top soccer game, and so much more,” says Charlie Freund, Territory Manager for iD Tech.

The gender gap in STEM fields is pervasive and persistent, but iD Tech has been committed to closing that gap since it was founded in 1999 by mother-daughter duo Kathryn Ingram and Alexa Ingram-Cauchi. The company has increased the number of girls enrolled across all divisions from 14% in 2013 to 25% in 2017, with the ultimate goal of 50/50 gender parity.

“At the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a network of 18 schools including Carver and Hollenbeck, we are committed to increasing out-of-school experiences for our students,” says Virginia Lee, director of family and community engagement. “The Partnership is grateful to the Behar family and our partners at iD Tech for making this dream a reality.”

“Alexa Café supports our efforts to broaden the STEM pipeline,” continues Mitchel J. Aiken. “To offer this opportunity to girls from Partnership for Los Angeles Schools is particularly gratifying. We join iD Tech in thanking Howard Behar for making this experience possible for these deserving girls.”

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