Pretty Brainy ~ Pretty Brilliant!

January 27, 2015

For many girls and young women, gateways to develop their interest and skills in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) are not always matched with their passions. An organization in northern Colorado is working to change this by breaking down barriers for females to engage with STEAM activities using mediums that appeal to their interests in design, creative arts, fashion and philanthropy.

That organization is Pretty Brainy….a new nonprofit delivering STEAM learning that values how girls experience the world.

Pretty Brainy provides afterschool and extracurricular programs for girls to expand their STEAM experiences around topics such as circuitry, electricity and power, physics, interpreting data, 21st-century problem solving and much more. By using design and fashion as the platforms, Pretty Brainy is creating innovative learning environments where girls can explore these subjects.

An example of Pretty Brainy’s innovative approach to STEAM education was the Textiles + TNT10TechStyles program that occurred at Tavelli Elementary in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2014. During the multi-week program, the participating 4th and 5th grade girls gathered to identify community problems and then, with fashion design as the medium, designed potential solutions using e-textile components and circuitry engineering. The final prototypes ranged from stylish jogging jackets speckled with LED lights to prevent automobile-pedestrian accidents to backpacks with interior LED lighting patches.

Beginning this winter, Pretty Brainy will be launching a new program for middle and high school girls in northern Colorado. The ‘Pretty Brilliant’ program will match the participating girls with female engineering student mentors from Colorado State University. Together, they will learn the STEAM knowledge necessary to apply safe and efficient lighting standards to the lighting design for a new Habitat for Humanity home in the community. It is anticipated that TNT13these partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and the university students will allow the participating girls to propel their interests in STEAM and design into potential academic and real-world career options for themselves.

Interested in Pretty Brilliant and other initiatives of Pretty Brainy? Visit for more information and to register.

The OtterCares Foundation is proud to support Pretty Brainy’s innovative STEAM education programs for girls in our community through grant awards from the Impact Fund.