Uncovering what makes a learning ecosystem thrive!

by | Sep 13, 2019 | Broadening Participation, Chicago, IL, News, Out of school time, STEM, West Side STEM Learning Center

Project Exploration Continues to Look at Assets in Austin

On Thursday, August 1st, PE, along with Chicago City of Learning, Digital Youth Network, and Northwestern and DePaul Universities, hosted an Austin Asset-Mapping Workshop to discuss physical assets in the Austin area, including identifying computer labs, maker spaces, and lounge-type spaces for youth to hang out when programs are not in session, along with other assets based around what is accessible for youth. One of the maps included walkability with the understanding of unseen barriers that exist within sectors of the Austin area. 

The objectives of the project and workshop are to define factors of learning ecosystems in Chicago; map OST opportunities and participation to reveal a story at different levels (city, community, family); present clear visualizations for city, city agencies, and community stakeholders to analyze, interpret, outline future work and advocate buy-in for long-term with preceded by community-centered action items; and make progress on index/score that could represent the health of Austin’s (and Network 3’s) learning ecosystem. 

During the workshop, participants were greeted with lunch with a short activity and proceeded to a presentation of a set of maps, as mentioned above, with short introductions, of the maps, and why the information presented about them matters with an understanding and summary of the relevance to each person’s representation, whether personal, professional, or other.

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