Girls Garage is a program of the nonprofit Project H Design.

Project H was founded in 2008 by designer and builder Emily Pilloton to celebrate and cultivate the raw brilliance of youth through rigorous, hands-on design and building projects in the classroom and in their communities.

Shop Class for
the 21st Century

In 2010, Project H Design launched Studio H, a high school program where students learn everything from concepting and drafting to carpentry and construction. First implemented in rural Bertie County, NC, the program was featured in the documentary If You Build It. Studio H is now based out of REALM Charter School in Berkeley, CA, where it has continued to grow.

Fearless Builder Girls

As female instructors, we recognized that our young girls were not reaching their full potential in the co-ed classroom. So we started Camp H: an all-girls program for hardcore building and community projects and the blueprint for Girls Garage. After 4 successful years and a waitlist that surpassed 100 girls, we outgrew our space. In April 2016, we announced the program’s expansion into Girls Garage, our own brick-and-mortar workspace in West Berkeley.

Our Impact

From day one, we’ve worked hard to forge meaningful relationships with our youth and communities. Girls have built doghouses, steel sculptures, even furniture for a local women’s shelter. They have learned to jumpstart a car, MIG-weld, and draft in Adobe Illustrator.

Since our founding:

  • 200 girls from all backgrounds enroll each year
  • 68% of girls enroll in multiple sessions, with some completing 10 or more sessions to date
  • Half of girls receive financial assistance
  • 91% of girls say they leave Girls Garage feeling more confident and creative than when they came in

85% of girls say they are more interested in STEM fields after Girls Garage

Girls Garage has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, Slate, and Medium, and featured at The White House’s National Week of Making. The work of Project H Design has made its way onto the TED stage, The Colbert Report, CNN, and Forbes.

Our Home

Our 3600 sq. ft. West Berkeley space includes a woodshop, metalshop, digital fabrication studio, and classroom, all designed to accommodate our many activities, from screen-printing and laser-etching to carpentry, craft-making and lock-picking.