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SXSWedu 2014

Makers, geeks and mentors: community learning hubs

To make pathways into STEM careers visible and accessible, Chicago Public Library invited partners to co-design out-of-school learning experiences that emphasize Project Based Learning and mentor relationships. CPL first explored mentor-led digital media making with its YOUmedia project in 2009, then asked Northwestern University to add STEM learning challenges through a game-inspired online community. Recently, CPL transformed its summer reading program into a citywide STEM learning initiative with the Museum of Science and Industry, built a makerspace, invited a tech start-up to serve as Geeks in Residence, and launched a Girls Who Code club. Join CPL, Northwestern, MSI and Girls Who Code to discuss the goals, challenges and results of their collaborative efforts. Learn how to leverage institutional and community assets to build interest-based STEM learning pathways.

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  1. How does this group design learning pathways that are informed by and responsive to both youth interests and the rapidly-changing STEM career landscape?
  2. What staff and organizational capacity is needed to manage successful collaborations among diverse organizations and how does collaboration stretch organizational capacity?
  3. How can important elements of any 21st Century educational experience - complex problem-solving, collaboration, adaptability - be learned and practiced in community-based learning environments?



Andrea Saenz, First Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Public Library

Meta Information:

  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Panel Discussion
  • Track: Social & Mobile Learning
  • Session Focus Area
  • Level: Intermediate
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