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.
inside The Do Lab is where students go beyond discovering their career aspirations to understanding the purpose that fuels it – it’s the purpose that drives them when the going gets tough. Examining the interplay between Design, Science, Technology and Business students perform hands-on projects that will take them one step closer to realizing their dreams.
Utilizing a network of innovation professionals an emphasis is placed 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. inside The Do Lab is available as both in-school and after-school programs.
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.
Robots & Society (piloting Summer 2016) – moves students grades 6-8 beyond building and programming robots to understanding how they can be used for the betterment of Society. Field-trips and speakers help students develop empathy for people with disabilities. Students are then challenged to imagine new ways for robotics to extend the capabilities of the disabled.
In a very integrated manner, students learn the design process, needs assessment and problem formulation as well as building, programming and testing robotic enabled solutions. The course combines the creativity of designers and artists with the analytical skills of scientists and engineers. Students will come back in subsequent years to build on this project.
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.
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.
There is a quiet storm brewing at the intersection of design, science, technology and business. Leaders in industries most susceptible to disruption like High Tech have understood this for many years. Steve Jobs defined design as “not just what it looks like...
“My robot is going to help someone.” – Tony A. That was the response of one of our students when his Mother asked him, “How was the first day?” Since our programming starts in the real-world, questions like – “Why am I doing...
Just a few days ago I read a post by Tim Brown, CEO IDEO, titled “How Might Design Thinking Help the TSA?” He discussed how air travel is comprised of an interconnected system, and it is hard to effect significant change in any system by looking at only...
I spent far more time this year oscillating between “THIS IS TERRIBLE” and “I AM TERRIBLE” than I will ever admit. However, when we started helping the students pull together their final presentations and began reading their reflections...
Buildingoff of a study on Purpose Learning out of Stanford University, we have created a very exciting learning experience for our Creative Doers in the Do Lab. The essence of Purpose Learning is that academic pursuits are linked with the purpose that fuels it. This...
They walked in excited, but not fully knowing what to expect. We had promised an exciting, fun and relevant way to learn about the field of computing. However, in the back of their minds they were envisioning lines and lines of computer code. When was the bait and...
It’s exciting to see their eyes light up – when they walk into a building that they have passed literally hundreds of times without knowing what goes on inside. Our Creative Doers at Fletcher Maynard Academy are starting to get the message – this can...
Photo Credit: MIT idm / John Parrillo It’s a long way from making hand-made musical instruments to becoming an MIT student, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. After spending 4 days immersed in the world of MIT graduate students, 2 of our 5 students...
MIT integrated design graduate students Maria Tafur (L), Masakazu Nagata (R) and Director Matt Kressy play their homemade instruments along with Brave Sharab, 7, on Main Street in Cambridge. Cambridge, MA is surrounded by a treasure trove of resources. Kendall...
In 7 Weeks. Nearly 90 kids. Tackled 1 Big Question. How Might We Stay a Part of a Changing Neighborhood? This is a very broad and complex question. Matter of fact, due to the complex interdependencies most adults wouldn’t know where to start – resulting in no...