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Thursday, October 5 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Community initiatives and technical platforms to understand and address equitable learning in Chicago

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Recent research on how to support equitable STEM learning calls out the need to broker opportunities for youth to participate across settings and to make connections between formal and informal environments. In this panel presentation we share four interconnected projects designed to do this in Chicago at multiple levels:

City-wide learning initiative
The Chicago City of Learning (CCOL) is a city initiative using networked technologies to make out-of-school learning opportunities visible and available to youth and families in order to increase engagement during non-school time. Over 130 local organizations are involved and over 88,000 Chicago Public School (CPS) students have registered. We will specifically address engaging and supporting youth-serving organizations, including schools, as collaborators in the initiative.

Connected learning platform
The Chicago City of Learning platform was designed to make out-of-school time opportunities across the city searchable and sortable by subject, age, and geographic location and to provide account profiles for youth to develop portfolios of participation over time. Together, these allow visualizations of the informal STEM landscape in Chicago. We will share a features analysis and intentional design for different stakeholders in the learning ecology of Chicago, from organizers to educators to families.

Hyperlocal community ecosystem
Learning deserts suggested from CCOL mapping of STEM opportunities led to the launch the Bronzeville Fusion Network (BFN), a design-practice partnership to deepen collective understanding of how to strengthen learning ecosystems through a deep dive in one community. We will share the model and collaborative partnership strategies from the first year of work to identify and connect existing infrastructures, including CCOL, and overcome barriers such as transportation, space, and silos of expertise.

Caring adult network
Across the online and face-to-face programs from city-wide to local levels, individual adults in the lives of young people are key motivators. A series of workshops and communication practices, known as the Caring Adult Network (CAN), were designed to engage parents in BFN as STEM learning partners, connect them to each other and local resources, learn from them, and grow knowledge and confidence.

A synthesis discussion with the DML research and design community will close the session.

Thursday October 5, 2017 2:00pm - 3:00pm PDT
Doheny CD