Girls Build LA Impact Toolkit and Workbook

This three part toolkit is designed to ensure that teams continue to build the skills they need to compete in the Expo in May. We have compiled several helpful activities that you can use with your team. These activities can also double as a guide to completing your written narrative that you will later share with the judges. Please keep in mind that these are not mandatory exercises but an option to increase the enrichment of your students and to assist in preparing for the Solutions Expo.

This guide includes the following:

Part 1 - Enrichment Activities

1.A great exercise to do with the group is to have each team member share why this project is important to them. This keeps the why in the forefront and reiterates the groups shared commitment to the project. You may want to start or close every meeting with this practice to help the students feel comfortable articulating why the project is meaningful to them personally.  

2.This is a short story that is shared by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai. In this story she shares the importance of doing the best you can regardless of the size of what you have to contribute and that every contribution matters.

3.The following Ted talk addresses preconceived notions and bias we have towards groups of people. It can be used a conversation piece with the group and a tool to team build in a meaningful way.

4. Your project will impact a variety of people, places and things and make a real difference in a variety of ways. This exercise will help students understand how impacting just one individual can have a much bigger impact on a community.

For example: teaching a student about nutrition can help them eat better, healthier students may perform better in school, and then they might share what they learned with their families. That illustrates the range of influence your team can have, and how the individual can effect big scale change.  

Have each student independently complete a worksheet that is comprised of three circles (included as Attachment A at the end of the packet). The three circles have the words Personal, School and Community, each representing a different realm of impact for your project. Identifying the impact in each realm can help your students better understand and communicate the full scope of your project. The exercise should take about 30 minutes in total - five to introduce, five for independent brainstorming, and then a 20 minute discussion. This is also a good Think, Pair, Share exercise. Get creative with how you want to use this resource!

Part 2 - Public Speaking

Public speaking and effective communication are two of the most important professional skills you can have. But we know that glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is real for many people. Public speaking can be scary! To help prep your team, we have compiled some helpful tips. This short guide will address how to be concise, public speaking tips:

How to get your point across in 8mins

Your presentation should be clear and concise. Eight minutes may not seem like a lot but it can be plenty of time to get your point across to your audience, if you use it wisely. Start off with a bang, something to get the attention of your audience and draw attention to the content of your project. Some examples of this include a joke, an interesting fact, or a compelling story from your project. Next, transition the discussion to the main points of your presentation. This includes what happened, who participated and why. This may be a good time to reference your visual aids or give examples. Lastly, your team will want to close with the outcome and what was learned during the process. Make sure to sum up the main points! It is important to close with something that will resonate with the judges and the audience, like a quote from a student.


Eye Contact, Posture, Pacing and Volume are four key areas to remember while preparing for your presentation.


Eye Contact

 While speaking to the judges it is important to have eye contact. Maintaining eye contact helps the audience connect with the speaker. It also shows the judges that you care and are passionate about your project.



Posture is how a person holds their body while presenting. The presenter wants to practice good posture to avoid having the audience become distracted. Here are some tips on posture:



Pacing and Volume

Speak slowly and enunciate. Sometimes when people get nervous they tend to speed up to get through the discomfort. Keep it slow!! Also, make sure the audience can hear you.  A great way to ensure this is to pretend you are talking to the person in the room that is the farthest away from you.

Remember to BREATHE!!!

Resources to help your team prepare:

List of common visual aids-

Public Speaking How to-

15 Fun Public Speaking Activities -

Part 3 - Presentation Checklist

This checklist is a tool to help you identify and highlight all of the necessary goals and milestones in your project. You can also utilize this tool as an outline for your website AND when making public presentations (like at our end of year Expo).

  1. Problem Identification- What was the problem that you wanted to solve? How did you identify it?

  1. Solution - What was your team’s answer? How did you get there?

  1. Implementation - How did the team conduct their work throughout the year?

  1. Results & Impact - How impactful was your project? What evidence have you collected to share?

  1. Lessons learned - What happened during the course of your project that was surprising? What would you have done differently if you could do things again?


Ted Talk about the Golden Circle of Why to help organize a presentation for greatest impact with the audience.

Problem Identification

How did the team decide what problem to focus on?

What research was conducted?

Did you work with any experts?

Did you talk to other students, teachers or community members?

Is the problem unique to your school or community? if so why


What’s the answer/solution?

How did the team come up with the answer?

Did everyone in the group agree? If not, how did you decide what to choose?

Did you do any research on the solution you chose?

Is there more than one solution?


How did you decide where to begin?

Did you make a work plan? If so, what was it?

Were you able to achieve all of the milestones you set in the plan? If not, why?

Did you work backwards from your goal?

What did you accomplish in your weekly meeting?

Results and Impact

Did you participate in any activities? If so, how many? Examples include field trips or programs planned

How many students participated in events or programing?

Did you conduct any surveys? If so, what were the results?

Did you work with any partner organizations or mentors? If so, who and what was the purpose?

Qualitative examples

Did you gather quotes and/or stories from participants? If so, did you notice any similarities?

Did you gather any feedback from observers? If so, did you notice any similarities?

Did you take photos or videos to share?

Did you notice any themes? If so, what were they?

Lessons learned

What went well?

Did anything occur that you were not expecting?

What challenges did you experience?

Would you do anything differently if you could do it again?

Any other comments or notes?

Attachment A: Personal, School and Community Impact

The three circles have the words Personal, School and Community, each representing a different realm of impact for your project. Think about how your project will impact each of these areas, and they are all connected. We have some examples to get you started!