CHICAGO —(ENEWSPF)–April 29, 2016. Nearly 1,200 youth and family members from 71 different zip codes registered for a free and unique opportunity held last Saturday at Jones College Prep to sample summer programs offered by 30 Chicago City of Learning (CCOL) partner organizations. As youth completed hands-on activities, they earned digital badges reflective of their interest and participation, which unlocked chances to win prizes.
The multi-part event was dubbed #UpwithChi Spring it Out by the CCCOL Youth Council, who also curated the Teen Lounge, where 13-19 year olds tried their hands at fashion and jewelry design, app-building, soldering and more. For the writers and musicians among them, a lively Open Mic was hosted by Marwin “Stark” Williams of HUEY Gang.
In the Maker Party filled with drop-in activities, youth 4-12 created a butterfly garden with the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, made toys and beds for dogs and cats living at The Anti-Cruelty Society, programmed video games and robots with Center for College Access and Success at NEIU, built balloon-powered cars with Scientists for Tomorrow, used poetry and visual arts to create multimedia with Borderbend Arts Collective, and much more.
During an hour-long workshop hosted by Best Buy’s Geek Squad Agents, students explored the hidden code behind live websites. In another workshop, girls created light-up greeting cards with Digital Youth Divas, a program created by Digital Youth Network that links STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to interests like fashion, art and dance.
Participating organizations not aforementioned include: Adler Planetarium; Chicago Architecture Foundation; CodeCreate Technology Education; IMPACT Family Center; LevelUP; Microsoft; Mikva Challenge; National Veterans Art Museum; Play-Well TEKnologies; Project Exploration; Project Tech Teens; (PRO)jectUS; Scenarios USA; SkyART; Stamps for Kids; The Yellow Canoe; True Star Foundation; and YOUmedia at Chicago Public Library.
Young Chicagoans and the adults who care for them can explore and sign up for online and on-site programs offered by more than 120 CCOL partner organizations citywide at www.ChicagoCityofLearning.org, where youth can also create their Chicago City of Learning accounts, which provide them with a digital portfolio – evidence of all they have participated in and achieved.