Adobe Invites Girls to STEM the Gender Gap


Adobe’s historic San Francisco office, housed in the 105-year-old Baker Hamilton building, recently served as the perfect backdrop for an inspirational look into the future of technology. We hosted 25 fifth-graders from the Hamlin School for Girls to teach them about careers in technology and give them a hands-on experience of innovation. The visit was part of Hamlin’s STEMming the Gender Gap initiative, a citywide program designed to connect girls with dynamic women in the San Francisco tech industry.

During their visit, the girls heard from women at Adobe about their career paths, and the far-reaching impacts of working in technology. The girls saw demonstrations of projects in the Experience Design Innovation Lab, and stopped at inspirational spots in the office to take selfies and turn them into digital art with Adobe applications—a chance to literally picture themselves in technology.

To get the feeling for technology development, the girls became testers for the new light painting experience Adobe is developing for the de Young Museum. In a makeshift photo studio, the students used their imaginations to “draw” in the air with a bright flashlight. They were photographed with an exposure long enough to allow them to move into their drawings after they were done.


The girls could then retrieve their photos on iPads and turn them into paintings using the Paint Can application by Adobe Labs. This gave them the opportunity to see the technological process all the way through, from drawing with light, to capturing it digitally, and then translating the light into other media. The finalized light painting experience will be a centerpiece for the de Young’s upcoming de Youngsters Art Party.

The girls were engaged and excited about their high-tech explorations. “This was the best field trip ever! I had so much fun,” one student exclaimed. “You change the world,” said another.

“The girls were amazing kid testers and the perfect crew of participants to help us shape our new experience for youth at the de Young! Their energy was tremendous,” said Lisa Temple, one of the girls’ guides and Community Engagement Manager, Digital Media. “We hope to host more inspirational experiences for students, and to reach young people all across our Bay Area community.”