New Funding Boosts OSEP's Fuse Program and Other Initiatives in Network for Innovative Learning

New Funding Boosts OSEP's Fuse Program and Other Initiatives in Network for Innovative Learning

Fuse

Fuse engages youth in science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on exploratory challenges. New funding will allow this drop-in program of the Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) to expand. OSEP's Fuse program is one of 33 organizations participating in the Chicago Hive Learning Network, which is receiving $2.2 million in new support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in partnership with the Burberry Foundation.

OSEP at the School of Education and Social Policy participates in the Hive Network through its Fuse program, which takes place at liraries, youth centers and other kid-friendly spaces. The new funding will enable the Hive to develop additional learning opportunities for Chicago teens in libraries, museums, schools, and arts venues in neighborhoods across the city.

Fuse engages youth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through hands-on exploratory challenges. In after-school sessions, Fuse participants drop in for "cool" science activities such as programming robots, designing phone apps and printing 3-D prototypes. The program works to build high school students' skills in STEM by combining highly motivating activities with the kind of leveling-up platform used in video games.

Organizations in the Hive work to engage youth in learning that is based on their interests and helps them develop necessary 21st century skills. The ability to think creatively is considered one of the most critical skills a young person can have in order to thrive in the workplace and society today and in the future.

Grants of $1.7 million and $500,000 from the MacArthur and Burberry foundations respectively are managed by a special fund created for Hive activities at The Chicago Community Trust.

Other Hive Learning Network initiatives include the following:

  • Now Is the Time, an initiative of the Chicago Public Library, Facing History and Ourselves, and Steppenwolf Theater will bring young people together for conversations, readings, theatre pieces, and exhibits focused on ending misunderstanding and violence.
  • The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Free Spirit Media, Art Institute of Chicago, Yollocalli, Digital Youth Network, and YOUmedia at the Chicago Public Library will establish a committee of youth leaders, “Hive ambassadors,” to integrate youth voice and leadership into all Hive activities, culminating in a Hive Chicago youth summit.
  • Burberry Create, a program of the Burberry Foundation, will offer relevant and exciting learning opportunities.   

The mission of Northwestern University’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships is to connect K-12 students and teachers to the world-class science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) resources of Northwestern University and beyond. Under the direction of the School of Education and Social Policy professor Kemi Jona, OSEP programs include professional development workshops for teachers, mentoring programs for teachers and students, inquiry-based STEM learning programs for students and partnership initiatives between Northwestern University and K-12 schools and other organizations.

By MacArthur Foundation and SESP
Last Modified: 3/7/17