Tech, Now + Beyond

This 3D printing academy paves the way for girls in engineering

KiraKira's courses have the ability to expose young girls to an exciting new career option.

An online jewelry shop is paving the way for an upcoming engineering course geared at girls, thanks to the duo behind KiraKira.

When 21 percent of girls say their parents encourage them to become actresses while only 10 percent say their parents encourage them to think about engineering careers, these types of initiatives are incredibly important.

With a focus on jewelry-making, KiraKira’s courses are aimed directly at young girls who have little to no interest in engineering.

All of fashion entrepreneur and industrial designer Suz Somersall’s jewelry designs are created through software used by aerospace engineers and architects.

Now, she’s partnering with the University of Virginia’s aerospace and mechanical engineering department to offer friendly online mechanical engineering classes to young girls.

Just this week, her Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign successfully raised $31,013 to produce their first 100 lessons.

She plans on “creating a curriculum to teach transferable skills, commands and concepts through KiraKira’s unique approach.”

A collage of gold, blue, and green pieces of jewelry, titled, above there is text reading "KiraKira by Suzanne Somersall"
[Image Description: A collage of gold, blue, and green pieces of jewelry, titled, above there is text reading “KiraKira by Suzanne Somersall”.] via ladylux.com

Two years ago, Suzanne and Malena Southworth began working together to build a well developed, interactive engineering curriculum for young girls interested in the engineering and technology industries.

Somersall and Southworth intend to open popup schools across the nation, with locations in San Francisco, New York City, and Virginia. Here, they will form lessons and teach girls how to design and create their own 3D jewelry.

Through KiraKira, Southworth hopes to “help break stereotypes and stigmas and inspire girls to achieve their dreams.”

With her already successful jewelry business, Somersall wanted to expand her efforts and develop a curriculum for young girls interested in engineering to benefit from. The KiraKira website also sells its own jewelry, which are all 3D printed and you can essentially learn how to do with their online classes. Her jewelry pieces are elegant and classy, with rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces ranging from $28-$98.

Through these initiatives, Somersall and Southworth will reach girls who may have never considered engineering as a possible avenue, showing that they can thrive even in traditionally male dominated industries.