EAGER: Developing Partnership Structures to Collaboratively Grow Urban STEM Hubs

Project: Research project


In this EAGER proposal we seek support to build on the Digital Youth Network’s twelve-years of collaborating with community, civic and academic partners in the design of urban STEAM learning ecosystems that span a classroom to a city to develop a model for using research-instrumented innovation hubs as spaces for collaboration around the design and playtesting of the curriculum, technologies, and social practices necessary to integrate design, coding and making into the instructional fabric of formal and informal learning spaces within underrepresented communities. Specifically, we seek to integrate a NSF implementation hub into DYN’s brand new 21st-century computational making learning lab opening on the southside of Chicago fall 2016, entitled Fusion Learning Lab. We seek support to pilot the Fusion as a national hub for the collaborative design and study of interventions, tools, and frameworks necessary to enact an urban computational making ecosystem that spans formal, informal, and online contexts.

Project Update: The proposal laid out 4 goals. Below is a brief status update on each goal:
1. Playtest/implementation of three existing NSF funded projects with DYN formal and/or informal learning partners. Given the nature of the DYN’s work in Chicago communities we were able to increase the number and expand the type of partnerships. We are working with four partners who have existing NSF grants, 2 colleagues who have received NSF funding but our collaboration wasn’t focused on their current grant, and we included 2 organizations who are leaders in the local STEM community.

• NSF Funded Projects
• Zoombini’s (TERC)
• VENVI (University of Florida)
• Blocky Talky (CU Boulder)
• Creative Computing (Harvard)
• Erika Halverson (University of Wisconsin)
• Marcelo Woosley (Northwestern)
• Local STEM Organizations
• EvanSTEM
• Project Syncere

2. Development of case studies that shed light on the problems of practice (from diverse stakeholder perspectives) around the creation and implementation of the hub. We are still in the process of developing case studies. We are working on producing two case studies that outline challenges and strategies for collaborations across thef ollowing projects:
• Work with Halverson and Woosley to integrate collective expertise into a Make Music workshop for mentors and students.
• Work with the Scratch and Snap teams to ensure integrated coding opportunities in core platform.

3. Development of protocols for differential sharing of student learning data with hub partners and aggregate learning data with the larger cyberlearning community.
• Our move to Northwestern has delayed major work on this deliverable as the move directly impacted the protocols and agreements needed to support this work. This work will be a focus during the fall as we need to have a set of protocols for review for the second workshop.

4. Resources to host a two-part workshop that brings together a diverse group of stakeholders, including hub partners, to develop a testable model for the development and implementation of research-instrumented innovation hubs designed to support playtesting of still-in-development NSF interventions with under resourced communities.
• DYN held the first of two workshop sin May to establish protocols for summer collaborations. The outcome of this workshop led to a co-planned and hosted workshop that integrated the work of Erica Halverson, Marcello Woosley, and DYN to create a computational making workshop centered around designing and making musical in
Effective start/end date9/1/176/30/18


  • National Science Foundation (IIS-1824536)


innovation research
informal learning