We bring together the most creative youth and the most analytical ones, especially those residing in less served areas.
We teach them a common language leveraging our framework built on Design Thinking, Character Development and Professional Identity.
We create immersive experiences allowing them to begin developing a “sense of being a part” of the innovation community.
Then we watch as they unlock unique innovative solutions to problems that are of most interest to them.
Our Integrated Creative Problem Solving (iCps) framework broadens participation in today’s innovation-driven economy by creating a more inclusive approach to STEM. We bring together the most creative youth and the most analytical ones. Teach them a common language (Design / Design Thinking), then watch as they unlock unique innovative solutions to problems that are of most interest to them. By starting with problems instead of STEM subject matter, phobias and fears often associated with STEM by students in underrepresented populations is avoided. Interestingly, solving problems in today’s world is nearly impossible without STEM. Students naturally pull-in STEM concepts into their solutions in an integrated non-threatening manner. Our pull instead on push approach broadens participation in STEM.
There is a tremendous amount of youth-centered innovation related activities occurring each weekend in Boston / Cambridge that youth in our target demographic are not taking advantage of. These youth will remain under-represented in the growth economy until they are exposed to opportunities and challenged to pursue them. iFp Saturdays was designed to help remedy this situation. iFp Saturdays introduces youth of color and girls in grades 7-12 to people, places and opportunities in the innovation economy. On 15 Saturdays from September to May, students explore the intersections of Art, Science, Technology and Design. Students participate in activities with professionals from local innovation-driven businesses and colleges including MIT and Harvard. A heavy emphasis is placed on developing a sense of belonging in the innovation community.
Designing Our Future energizes and excites youth to discover their interests at the intersections of Art, Science, Technology & Community. The course goes beyond skills and tools by placing an emphasis on developing a “sense of being a part” of the innovation community. This “sense of belonging” becomes an intrinsic motivator sparking the desire to learn skills and tools needed to participate in our innovation-driven economy. Students explore career areas including:
- Product & Service Design
- Video Game Design
Virtual Identities in Computer Science
In partnership with MIT’s Imagination, Computation and Expression Laboratory (ICE Lab), we offer workshops that provide opportunities to middle and high school students to:
- learn computer science in fun, exciting, relevant ways and
- develop self-images as computer scientists.
We start with student identified relevant themes, questions, challenges, and goals and see who students are and what they bring to the table as assets, important and rich resources to draw on. Then we utilize aspects of the nationally recognized Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum to spark student excitement about computing and focus on bringing the culture into the fabric of computing practice.
In Changing Neighborhood, students explore the dynamics of staying a part of a changing neighborhood. Answers to questions such as “How Might We drive the change we want in our neighborhood?” and “How Might We show neighborhood pride?” are sought using a methodology that is based on the way designers solve problems (Design Thinking). The program is designed in a manner that students simultaneously learn 21st Century Skills while becoming agents of change in their own communities and lives – the soul of innovation. Changing Neighborhood also serves as a gateway to STEM / STEAM subject mastery programming.
Two worlds are unfolding near Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA. One with the kind of growth and opportunity that is the envy of the entire country. The other, literally on the other side of tracks, is the most economically challenged area in the city. For a host of reasons, the residents of the Port (Area Four) are not participating economically in Kendall Square’s growth. Using the process of creative doing, project Square’s objective is to move the residents from passive observers to active participants in the success of Kendall Square.