Steven, Tina, and Monica shared how they secured funding, built the labs, and chose machines with a project-based and student-driven model in mind. They also shared how they integrated STEM subjects with arts learning and applied skills development to set children up for success in a 21st century economy. They ended the presentation with stories of student achievement, like how CYC student Alainia excelled at science despite not having a science teacher at school for several months. (Read Alainia’s story here.)
To say the audience was receptive would be an understatement. “The hunger in the audience for programs like ours was inspiring,” explained Tina. “CYC is ahead of the curve when it comes to leveraging the maker movement for education in urban environments. While there are other maker labs in Chicago, ours is the only one where children can create daily in their own neighborhoods. It was a privilege to share what we’ve learned and help grow this movement.”
While the STEAM team spent the summer preparing for the World Maker Faire, students in the Summer Enrichment Program at CYC-Elliott Donnelley Youth Center in Bronzeville were preparing for the Southside Mini Maker Faire, a regional event celebrating Chicago Southside makers. Our students spent the summer studying electricity and tinkering with circuitry in our Maker Labs, and in August they presented their “squishy circuits” project at the Southside Mini Maker Faire as one of 35 exhibitors.With the direction our Maker Lab program is headed, perhaps there will be a CYC child on the World Maker Faire center stage in the near future.