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Engaging Youth in

a Connected World
The promise of digital media tools
and technologies in Chicago’s
out-of-school time programs
Table of Contents

Foreword.................................................................................................... 1

Executive Summary................................................................................. 3

Why was a landscape study important?.............................................. 6

The Chicago context............................................................................... 8

Background on technology in
out-of-school-time programs............................................................... 10

What kinds of programs use DMTT and

what exactly are they using?................................................................14
site story: The Anti-Cruelty Society...............................................20

What are program leaders who
use DMTT trying to accomplish?........................................................24
site story: Adler Planetarium...........................................................32
How do programs using DMTT
reach their goals?..................................................................................36
site story: Mikva Challenge.............................................................42
Where are the programs that use
DMTT and who do these programs serve?.......................................46

site story: TechGYRLS......................................................................56
Advice from program leaders: Where to find
supports and ways to address challenges...................................... 60
site story: Chasing23........................................................................70
Looking to the future............................................................................. 74

A. About Outlier Research & Evaluation........................................... 76

About Chicago Learning Exchange............................................... 78

B. Study Methodology......................................................................... 80

C. Additional Findings...........................................................................86

D. List of all Participating Organizations.......................................... 96

Suggested citation: Century, J., Ferris, K. A., Noble, E., & Wille, S. (2018). Engaging youth in a
connected world: The promise of digital media tools and technologies in Chicago’s out-of-school
time programs. Outlier Research & Evaluation, UChicago STEM Education, University of Chicago.

All authors contributed equally; names are listed in alphabetical order.


Chicago Learning Exchange he digital revolution is powering profound If our aim is to remake learning in Chicago so it
change with deep implications for learners, is enhanced by technology, driven by learners’
acknowledgements educators, parents, and society. The last interests, supported by their peers, and connected
decade has generated tremendous interest to future opportunity, where are we on that
in the ways digital media and technology can path? What are the contours of the current
make education better—as well as concerns landscape? That was our purpose in engaging

about widening the gap between those who Outlier Research & Evaluation at UChicago STEM
“If what you’ve done is memorize he Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX) thanks the John D. have access to technology and high-quality Education | University of Chicago to conduct will be utterly and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (MacArthur) for learning experiences, and those who do not. this study. Where are these programs taking
unprepared for [our changing] supporting the Engaging youth in a connected world: The place? Are the tools being used to consume
world. In fact, our kids are going promise of digital media tools and technologies in Chicago’s out- A growing body of research shows that digital content in a reactive mode or are young people
to have to work with knowledge of-school time programs report as part of its Digital Media and media tools and technology can indeed connect interacting with them to explore, create, share,
that hasn’t been discovered yet
Learning program. Current and major contributors to CLX include youth interests and academics; learners to friends, and grow? How tech savvy are the program
and technologies that haven’t been teachers, and mentors; and learning opportunities
the Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation, MacArthur leaders, educators, and mentors, and what do
invented yet, to solve big problems to the kinds of skills the new economy demands.
Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, they think meaningful engagement with digital
that we haven’t been able to
Susan Crown Exchange, and The Chicago Community Trust. However, the Chicago Learning Exchange believes media and technology might be? Do these
The opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors that real innovation lies not in the use of the latest programs connect with schools, and if so, how?
— Linda Darling-Hammond,
Professor of Education Emeritus at
and do not necessarily reflect those of the Foundations. tech tools for those with ready access to them,
Stanford University
but rather in leveling the playing field so under- We believe that this study is the first attempt to
CLX also thanks the following partner organizations that helped resourced youth are engaged in programs and examine the use of digital media and technology
make this report possible: After School Matters, Digital Youth experiences that unlock future opportunities. tools in informal learning programs across
Network, LRNG, Chicago Department of Family & Support Services, a city. Thus, we hope it contributes to the
Chicago Housing Authority, Get In Chicago, FUSE at Northwestern We’re on a mission to inspire and support broader field of study, and more importantly to
University, and the Chicago Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities innovation that equips digital-age learners and the practice of teachers, mentors, and youth-
at The Chicago Community Trust. Deep gratitude to CLX leaders to close Chicago’s opportunity gap. We development professionals who engage with,
collaborators, Outlier Research & Evaluation at UChicago STEM envision Chicago as a connected community and inspire, young people every day.
Education at the University of Chicago, for their guidance, authorship, where all learning counts—whether it’s in school,
and diligent execution of this report. And, most importantly, all of out of school, or online. Obviously, no one I would like to thank CLX Program Officer Sana
this work would not be possible without the efforts of the nearly 250 organization alone can transform teaching and Jafri for her leadership on this project.  I am also
participating organizations and educators who serve youth daily. learning to better serve today’s young people. So, grateful to the nearly 250 organizations that
we work with a growing community of over 200 participated in this study, particularly those who
If you share an urgency and commitment to prepare youth for a
youth-serving organizations, cultural institutions, agreed to in-depth interviews and site visits. We’ve
connected world, CLX invites you to learn more via
city agencies, corporations, foundations, and learned not only that hundreds of programs are, and join the movement to remake learning
universities who share our sense of urgency. embracing digital media and technology tools,
in Chicago.
but also how they’re doing it. This is a promising
foundation on which to continue to build.
Maria P. Hibbs, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Chicago Learning Exchange

Executive Summary
As technology, and particularly digital media tools and technology,
becomes ever more central in society, the ability to understand
and use it in its various forms is critical. Youth who can access
current and emerging technologies and learn not only how to
interact with them to get information, but also to leverage their
capabilities and create with them, will be at a distinct advantage.

outh can learn these skills in also outlines the particular challenges
many ways and in many places, program leaders who deliver programs
from tinkering at home or with with DMTT face and provides advice
peers to formal training in schools. This from those leaders on how to best
report focuses on out-of-school time address them and build supports. While
(OST) programs, which, with their flexibility the findings pertain to Chicago, they
and wide variety, are well positioned are not wholly unique to one city, and
to connect youth to digital media tools will inform practice and policy not only
and technologies (DMTT) and rich within the city boundaries, but for those
opportunities to engage with them. working with youth across the country.

This study examined the state of DMTT This summary gives a high-level overview
use in OST programs in the City of of the major findings from each section
Chicago. Based in research conducted of the report. It does not, however,
with nearly 250 organizations that serve sufficiently capture the rich program
the city’s youth, the findings describe descriptions, examples of practice, and
what DMTT learning opportunities look passionate words of program leaders
like, how youth interact with DMTT and
to what end, where these opportunities
take place, and who has access. It
included in the full report. We encourage
you to immerse yourselves in their stories. c
What areas of Chicago and
c L
How many and what kinds of Why do program leaders youth populations do programs
programs use DMTT? What incorporate DMTT? with DMTT serve?
types of DMTT do they use? Consistent with the fact that most programs
Organizations that responded to the questionnaire to learn (from anywhere and anyone, including
Nearly 250 organizations responded to the used DMTT to enrich a program focusing on a
were located across the City of Chicago, but from the youth themselves) are the more critical
questionnaire administered for this study and different topic, the most commonly identified
many of the programs with DMTT aimed to serve pieces. Program leaders talked about the additional
reported offering 2,200 programs for youth program goals were not related to specific
the South, West, and Southwest regions of the challenge of combatting stereotypes about who
during the summer 2017 and 2017-2018 school DMTT skills. Rather, program leaders reported
city. Programs also tended to be racially and can or should be using DMTT. They also, however,
year. Of these, 175 organizations reported their interests in youth development and using
ethnically diverse, and almost half reported having described supports of many forms. Program leaders
offering over 1,000 programs that used DMTT. DMTT as tools for empowerment and self-
predominantly Black or African American youth noted the importance of leadership and advocacy
For about ¾ of these programs, learning about expression. They also highlighted their interest
enrolled. Given that in Chicago, those communities within their organizations at various levels, the
the DMTT themselves was not the primary in helping youth to develop 21st century skills
and populations tend to be generally underserved, value of learning in peer communities and other
focus. Rather, they used DMTT to support (e.g. collaboration, creative thinking), grow their
these findings are promising and suggest that the informal learning opportunities, and the usefulness
programming about other topics which ranged civic engagement, and prepare for college and
OST community is working to address inequities— of having local advocates—including funders,
careers. Program leaders who did speak about
though this work is nowhere near done. Programs community members, and parents. And, among
developing specific technology skills often did so
also served more female than male youth. Only their descriptions of challenges and supports,
in the context of job preparation, and indicated
about one quarter of the programs reported that the program leaders spoke about the youth
Defining digital media their interest in building youth’s confidence for
they target specific populations (such as girls or themselves, and the critical importance of keeping
engaging in technology-focused careers. This
tools and technologies specific racial/ethnic groups). Regardless of the them at the front and center of all of this work.
confidence-building was a particular focus for
populations they serve, programs recruit youth in
In this report, and in the research that informs some programs working with youth from groups This study reveals the wide and varied ways
many ways, from school events to social media
it, we use the term “digital media tools and currently underrepresented in STEM fields. DMTT in OST programs are used, and illustrates
to passing out cards on the street—the priority
technologies” or “DMTT” to represent the that program leaders focus on far more than
is getting the word out and youth in the door.
broad range of hardware, software, and other youth learning to use the tools themselves.
digital technology and resources available.
How do programs use DMTT DMTT are used to develop confident, creative,
We have addressed the learning strategies
to reach their goals? What challenges do programs collaborative youth who are able to engage in
often associated with DMTT separately.
with DMTT face? How can these their communities and society and make their
Some perceive that in the hands of youth, DMTT thoughts heard. Though much work remains, this
are isolating young people and turning them
programs best be supported? report describes current OST program leaders’
into constant consumers. However, leaders efforts to reach youth who have traditionally
widely, from architecture to performing arts to OST programs that incorporate DMTT face a
of programs that incorporate DMTT told a been underserved, and to not only expose them
civic engagement. The types of DMTT used also variety of challenges—some more general, such
different story. They spoke of the ways that to DMTT, but to engage them in finding and
varied, with the most commonly used being those as finding funding and resources, and some more
DMTT actively engages youth in their programs using their voices through it. Recognizing that
that are relatively accessible, such as computers, specific to using DMTT. For example, insufficient
and allows them to create and collaborate. In the long-standing inequities seen in Chicago
mobile phones, tablets, the internet, and social knowledge about DMTT on the part of program
many of these programs, youth use DMTT to and around the country will only get broader
media. Other programs reported using more staff and educators can make their use difficult. This
make their own content (particularly content if access and opportunities remain unequal,
specialized DMTT such as audio production may be particularly true for those programs that
expressing youth views and opinions) and to these leaders are capitalizing on the potential of
tools, 3D printers, and video editing tools. do not focus on DMTT as their primary topic. Still,
share that content with their peers and their DMTT to begin to put youth on even ground.
some program leaders reported that while technical
larger communities, giving them a strong voice.
knowledge is important, enthusiasm and willingness


Why was a landscape
study important?
“I do want them to learn these [DMTT] concepts, because I think they’re
cool, and I’m excited about them. But at the end of the day, I really just want
them to know that they are capable. That they can do it, that they’re not less
than anybody else. More than anything, that’s what I want them to know.”
—TechGYRLS, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

e are living in a time of constant innovation and change. As
the world around us shifts, becoming simultaneously more
accessible and further stratified, having the knowledge, skills,
and tools to engage is critical. This is true across our evolving educational,
interpersonal, workplace, and societal contexts, and it is especially
pertinent for today’s youth, as we look to them to forge their individual
paths while laying the groundwork for the future of society at large.

In this environment, technology— programming across the country that they are passionate about engineering. With youth’s lives programs is also evolving to create shares a portrait of DMTT use today
in its many forms—is an integral has grown rapidly in the last few (Lerner et al., 2017; Vandell et al., full of competing activities and exciting and potentially transformative in 2018—the conditions and contexts
part of young people’s lives. It is decades (Vandell, Larson, Mahoney, 2015). Engaging in OST programs that obligations, OST programs must experiences for youth. In the face of will undoubtedly change over time,
in their homes, their hands, their & Watts, 2015). This trend is also provide these types of opportunities be flexible and engage and retain this dynamic change, this study sought as will the needs of youth and the
conversations, their classrooms, seen in Chicago, where many has been shown to benefit youth youth’s interest (Vandell et al., to take a “snapshot” of DMTT use in technologies themselves. But this
and their communities. Youth use individual organizations and city- learning and development, 2015). As a result, they are adaptive Chicago OST programming. Using report provides an important baseline
digital media tools and technologies wide initiatives offer OST programs improving academic, social, and and interest-driven, making them data collected from questionnaires, for program leaders, facilitators,
(DMTT) to communicate, to manage for youth. OST program experiences emotional outcomes (depending on fertile ground for using current and interviews, and site visits, the report funders and other stakeholders who
their social lives, and to access provide youth with important the program’s focus) for all youth, emerging DMTT in new and creative describes the programs and highlights wish to understand where Chicago
entertainment and culture (Quinlan, opportunities to develop relationships regardless of socioeconomic status, ways. However, our understanding how DMTT supports program leaders’ and the field is now, in order to
2015). And more and more, adults with caring adult mentors and racial/ethnic background, or gender of what this process looks like in designs, learning strategies, and track progress toward creating more
in youth’s lives are harnessing the peers with similar interests, and to (Little, Wimer & Weiss, 2008; Lerner OST programs and how youth are goals for youth. It also outlines where opportunities and better serve the
power of DMTT to engage, empower, participate in activities (including et al., 2017; McCombs, Whitaker, & engaging with DMTT has been limited. the programs are located, which needs of all youth moving forward.
and educate them. While this likely those using DMTT) that build Yoo, 2017; Vandell et al., 2015). OST young people the programs serve,
occurs to some degree in many 21st century and life skills. programs vary in their focus and The findings in this report are a the challenges that program leaders
settings where adults and youth structure, serving youth before and portrait of how, why, and where DMTT have faced when delivering their
interact, as this report shows, it is a OST programs also enable youth after school, on weekends, holidays, are currently used in OST programs for programs, and program leader advice
widely emergent practice in out-of- to use their skills, talents, and and during the summer, in programs youth in the City of Chicago. As DMTT about the supports that they have
school time (OST) programs. OST competencies as leaders of activities ranging from sports to journalism to continue to advance, their use in OST found to be essential. This report


The Chicago Context

he third largest city in (Neufield, 2013). The South and graduate from high school
the U.S., Chicago is West sides of Chicago also have or college, less likely to be
home to arts and cultural the city’s lowest numbers of employed, and when employed,
institutions, universities and people with access to broadband more likely to have lower earnings
scientific organizations, and many internet in the home (Eltagouri, (McCombs et al., 2017). Such
vibrant and diverse cultures. It is 2016). Youth with less access differences further exacerbate
also a city that experiences many to the internet and other types racial and socioeconomic class
racial, economic, and political of DMTT have less opportunity tensions already present in these
tensions. Chicago’s racial/ethnic to develop DMTT-related skills communities and neighborhoods.
and economic inequities have a valuable in everyday life and the
long-standing history, and have workplace. This issue not only Given this context and the
been characterized as “pervasive, limits their future employment potential of OST programs
persistent, and consequential” options and income potential— (especially those using DMTT)
(Hendricks, Lewis, Arenas, & internet users, particularly regular to reduce some of the existing
Lewis, 2017, p. 16). Poverty is users, have been shown to access and opportunity gaps,
concentrated on the South and outlearn non-users (Robinson et it is important to understand
West sides of the city, which are al., 2015)—but also their access the extent to which programs
also the areas with the highest to information and knowledge with DMTT are reaching
concentrations of Black or more generally. The geographic diverse populations of youth
African American and Hispanic location of these less-resourced from Chicago’s far-reaching
populations (Bloch, Ericson, & areas is important as well; neighborhoods. This study
Giratikanon, 2014; Bloch, Cox, & Chicago is a large city and investigates the current
Giratikanon, 2015). Youth in these getting to and from one side to landscape, as well as the nature
areas are historically underserved, another takes time and money, of DMTT use in programs across
with schools facing greater even with public transportation. the city. As a baseline, this
challenges, fewer opportunities knowledge will inform and help to
to engage with DMTT, and These types of inequities support DMTT use in Chicago’s
less access to enrichment in resources and access to OST programs, and in programs
activities and programs enrichment opportunities may across the country. With time, as
outside of school settings. affect youth’s developmental, DMTT use evolves and expands,

social, emotional, and academic this work can move us closer to
For example, it has been achievement outcomes. Youth the goal of providing equal access
estimated that by the time they from low-income families, and opportunities to all youth.
reach middle school, low-income on average, are more likely
youth have spent about 4,000
less hours in OST programs
to score lower on state and
national academic achievement ILLINOIS
than their higher-income peers assessments, less likely to


In 2007, for example, the International What does the term an individual’s ability to obtain and
Society for Technology in Education’s evaluate information from given
digital media tools and sources. However, with the evolution
(ISTE) standards highlighted using
DMTT for communication and technologies (DMTT) of technology, the intersection
collaboration, research and information mean? of digital (e.g. interactive media,
fluency, critical thinking, problem social media tools) and traditional
solving, and decision-making (ISTE, This report uses the term “digital media media (e.g. books, television) has
2007). However, by 2016, these tools and technologies” (DMTT) as an shifted this perspective. Their
standards evolved to include far umbrella term which includes the range convergence, sometimes referred
more ambitious outcomes for youth, of hardware, software, and other digital to as “new media” (Buckingham,
asserting that DMTT could enable them tools and resources available. For the 2007; Buckingham, 2008; Ito et
to become empowered learners, digital sake of clarity, Outlier’s approach was al., 2009), now has implications
citizens, knowledge constructors, to separate the “tools” themselves for language, communication, and
innovative designers, computational (the DMTT) from the approaches to cultural impact. New media refers
thinkers, creative communicators, and learning that are sometimes associated not just to the media themselves,
global collaborators (ISTE, 2016). with these tools. In the research but also to the ways people
literature and popular press, this communicate with one another,
The maturation of DMTT has distinction is not always clearly made, express themselves, and generate
been reflected in its use in OST and authors may focus on one piece knowledge (Buckingham, 2008).
programming. As OST program leaders or the other, or conflate the two. A
have sought out ways to best engage variety of terms, including “digital
youth, they have had the flexibility to media,” “digital media and technology,”
explore and benefit from using many and “new media,” are used, with
kinds of DMTT with the young people little agreement on what they mean
in their programs (Herr-Stephenson, (Bales et al., 2012; Santo, 2017). For
Rhoten, Perkel & Sims, 2011). Although some, one or more of these terms

Background In the fast-evolving field of DMTT, the findings

included in this report require some context related
youth are often seen as digital
natives, technology on its own is not
enough. Educators and youth leaders
refers to hardware (e.g. computers,
digital cameras, mobile devices) and
to DMTT use with youth in general and in OST software (e.g. Photoshop, InDesign).

on Technology in programs in particular. Studies of youth engagement

with digital media are not new (Lenhart, Madden,
are critical: they guide the learning
process as youth engage with DMTT
Others use the terms to describe
all dimensions of the digital media

Out-of-School-Time & Hitlin, 2005; Roberts, Foehr, & Rideout, 2005). and often serve as mentors and role and learning experience, including
However, with the increase in variety, availability, models. Educators orchestrate the philosophies and pedagogical
and use of DMTT across educational settings, the youth learning opportunities that are approaches, in addition to the tools

Programs last decade has ushered in a particularly rapid

and visible growth in the ways in which DMTT can
hands-on, experiential, collaborative
with peers, youth-centered,
themselves (Buckingham, 2007).

enhance learning and youth development. With and connected to opportunity Terms such as “media literacy”
this uptick in interest, expectations for DMTT use (Connected Learning Alliance, n.d.). and “digital media and learning”
have shifted from youth primarily using DMTT as These practices are among the further confuse the conversation.
tools for consuming content toward youth using emerging characteristics of DMTT In the past, “digital literacy” or
DMTT to understand and create content. experiences in youth programming. “media literacy” have referred to


DMTT and learning Where does “connected learning” fit in?
Regardless of the specific learning” (Gee, 2009) has been of digital media, it has enjoyed While many of the pedagogical instructional strategies and
terminology used, DMTT’s introduced as yet another term new visibility and applicability. strategies associated with DMTT interactions described above),
role in learning and youth to signal connections between The DMTT context creates are familiar, one term—connected and a contextual component
development is a prominent DMTT and the pedagogical an opportunity for Dewey’s learning—is uniquely associated (focused on the particular learning
and persistent theme in digital experiences that they help create, ideas to flourish as learning with their use. Growing in part from experience in relation to others).
media discussions. For example, and has been identified as a new experiences are created and the programmatic and scholarly Some suggest that connected
the Afterschool Alliance states, field of inquiry that examines controlled by the learner. With work supported by the John learning resides within a larger
“digital media and technology the ways in which digital tools, DMTT, youth can stand squarely D. and Catherine T. MacArthur learning “ecology” that includes
should be viewed as tools that social structure, and popular in the driver’s seat with their Foundation, connected learning in-school, after-school, and other
can…permit students to learn culture come together to support peers, shifting adult facilitators has been described in a variety of OST learning opportunities that
at their own pace, and provide learning inside and outside of to the roles of supporter and ways. Some outline it as a mode enhance youth experiences (Herr-
interactive experiences that allow school settings (Gee, 2009). mentor (Afterschool Alliance, of learning that is peer supported, Stephenson, 2011; Afterschool
them to learn in their own style 2013; Bales et al., 2012; Herr- interest driven, and academically Alliance, 2015). This contextual
and in ways that are personal While looking forward in this Stephenson, 2011). In the space oriented (Chiu & Merritt, 2017; orientation to connected learning
and engaging” (Afterschool emerging field, one can also look where DMTT and progressive Connected Learning Checklist, echoes Dewey’s interest in
Alliance, 2013, p. 1). Others hold back in time to see digital media pedagogy are intertwined, n.d.), whereas others define it as removing the barriers between
that quality engagement with and learning’s pedagogical roots youth “take ownership of their an experience that can take place knowledge and experiences
DMTT entails problem-solving in the history of progressive learning” (Afterschool Alliance, at any time, is relevant to youth, is (Herr-Stephenson, 2011), and
and self-directed activities that education. Prominent education 2013, p.1; Bales et al., 2012). “hands-on,” and supports social communicates the intention to
are empowering, active, hands- theorist John Dewey’s vision interaction (Afterschool Alliance, develop youth who understand that
on, and expressive (Buckingham, of interest-driven, participatory, 2013; Afterschool Alliance, 2015). learning takes place all of the time
2007; Radich, 2013; Lemke, and learner-relevant education and in all contexts of their lives.
Lecusay, Cole & Michalchik, 2015; has been well-established in Connected learning has two
Connected Learning Checklist, the learning literature for over dimensions: a pedagogical
n.d.). Indeed, “digital media and 100 years, and with the arrival component (focused on the

From November 2017 – January 2018, Outlier Research & Evaluation
at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago
administered a questionnaire to approximately 750 organizations in
the Chicago area. Outlier also conducted interviews with program
leaders at 12 organizations and completed 5 in-depth site visits. See
the Appendix B for a more complete description of the methodology.


What kinds of
programs use DMTT
and what exactly
are they using?
“Seeing their final projects, seeing them just pouring themselves out in these
videos… and then these ideas just come through about them, and their hopes,
and their dreams, and their plans, and their passions. It was amazing. It was
really amazing.”
—TechGYRLS, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

DMTT programs are richly diverse

f the nearly 250 organizations focused on “computational tinkering.”
in Chicago that responded to Just as notable and inspiring were
Outlier’s questionnaire, 175 the programs’ ambitions for youth,
reported having at least one program which ranged from providing creative
that uses DMTT. These programs opportunities for “students to use
were rich in diversity, including state-of-the-art software to study and SECTION HIGHLIGHTS
programs where youth create and learn music theory” to helping “young
perform musicals, programs that women develop a sense of self.” • Almost 250 Chicago organizations, primary topic or focus; DMTT is
use digital fabrication technology to For an overview of the types of organizations offering a total of about 2,200 the main focus for only about one
explore design thinking, and programs who responded to the questionnaire, programs for youth over the quarter of the reported programs.
see Appendix Figure C1.
summer 2017 and 2017-2018 school
year, responded to the survey. • Program focus topics are diverse,
Figure 1. Questionnaire respondents ranging from architecture to
• 175 of these organizations reported performing arts to civic engagement.
Organizations responding to questionnaire 246 offering youth programs that use DMTT,
for a total of over 1,000 programs with • While some programs used
Organizations offering at least one youth program 219 DMTT being offered during this time. specialized DMTT, the most commonly
reported types of DMTT were
Organizations offering programs that use DMTT 175 • Most reported that DMTT is a computers, mobile phones, tablets,
secondary focus of the program and the internet, and social media.
as such, supports the program’s


RUNNING THE NUMBERS DMTT programs focus on many Figure 2. Proportion of
programs that use DMTT
different topics
# OF PROGRAMS OFFERED Rather than focus solely on DMTT skill development, a
large majority of program leaders reported using DMTT to
support and enhance learning goals about other topics.

2,239 1009 About a quarter of the leaders of programs with DMTT said
that DMTT was the primary focus of their OST program
total programs programs using while three-quarters of programs focused on other topics, 2239
offered for such as architecture, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Civic
Chicago youth
DMTT engagement was the most commonly identified topic, followed
by job preparation, and visual and performance arts. 1009
For a complete list of topics and the number of programs
that focus on each, see Appendix Figure C4a.
Of the 175 programs with DMTT reported on in the survey:

All programs Programs with DMTT


Participants could select multiple responses
Primary focus


111 103 73 10
Figure 3a. DMTT as a primary
versus secondary program focus

took place took place during were held on took place Secondary focus
after school the summer weekends before school

Civic engagement 37 21%

Job preparation or placement 29 17%

90% 80% Figure 3b. Most common

topics programs with
DMTT identified
Visual arts 23 13%

included multiple involved regular

sessions within youth attendance Note. Organizations could select Performance arts 23 13%
the program up to three program topics;
percentages indicate the proportion of
organizations selecting each topic. . STEM 22 13%

For more information about program structure and duration, see Appendix C. Other 45 26%


Computers 145 83% DMTT programs use the full gamut
of hardware and software
Mobile devices 98 56%

Although some of the programs used highly specialized DMTT, the vast “For the most part, [we use the
Tablets 68 39% majority used more common and accessible hardware and software. DMTT] as the students feel it’s best

Figure 4a. Hardware used When asking about the types of DMTT used, the questionnaire for them…we try to incorporate

Digital cameras 65 37% in programs with DMTT organized them into three categories: 1) hardware; 2) software; and it so it becomes something that’s

3) “other.” Respondents were able to select as many types of DMTT comfortable…we’re not deterring
them from using their phones,
Audio production 51 29%
as they wanted from each category, and given space to write in any
posting things on Snapchat,
types of DMTT that were not listed. The most common hardware used
Instagram, and so on because
were computers (83%), mobile devices (56%), and tablets (39%).
Video production 51 29% there’s so much expression through

Consistent with the focus on creation and “making” often associated with digital tools, we’ve found that if we
try to hinder them, it’s not gonna
Other 14 8% DMTT use, many programs used production hardware and software. Digital
cameras were reported to be used in over a third (37%) of the programs;
—After School Advocates,
audio production hardware (29%), and video production hardware (29%)
Anti-Cruelty Society
were each used by similar numbers. For software, after the “internet”
Internet 96 55%
(used by 55% of programs; the internet was categorized as software for
the purposes of this project), about a third (29%) used video production/
Video production/editing 50 29% editing software, and a quarter used photography editing software. Social
Figure 4b. Software used
media was the most common “other” DMTT, used by 45% of the programs.
in programs with DMTT
Photo editing 42 24%

Audio production/editing 31 18%

App development 24 14% Collegiate Scholars Program
Web development 24 14%
Founded in 2003, the University courses or topics that students prepare for their futures. The
of Chicago Collegiate Scholars may not be exposed to through podcasting portion of the program
Program strives to prepare stand- CPS curriculum. The program helps engages youth with technologies
Social media 79 45% out Chicago Public School students prepare students for college and they can apply to their everyday
for placement at top academic careers in science, technology, lives and use to communicate
Robotics 21 12%
institutions. Beginning after their engineering, and math, and to their ideas. As the program
Figure 4c. Other DMTT used
9th grade year and continuing be culturally competent, civically leader explained, “the goal [is]
in programs with DMTT
through graduation, high-achieving engaged leaders. Through for us to provide the students
3D printer/laser cutter 17 10% students participate in enrichment interaction with University of with enrichment and the ability
activities during the school year, Chicago faculty and doctoral to really express themselves and
Collaboration tool 17 10% as well as a summer program. candidates, these students, who enhance their own world view.”
Not all DMTT “software” and “other” types that appeared
on the questionnaire are shown in the figures presented Activities focus on core academic are often members of underserved
here; for a complete list, and the number of programs that subjects, plus additional elective groups, are supported as they
reported using each, see Appendix figures C5 and C6.


“When it comes to community building, that’s a perfect example of what
we’re trying to achieve. Kids that would never have even met each other,
coming together because of their mutual love of animals and giving back to
the community and having a beautiful friendship form out of that.”
—Sarah, Program Leader

The Anti-Cruelty Society – After School Advocates

Using the Power of Social Media for Animal Advocacy

The After School Advocates Teen Based on that philosophy, After

The Anti-Cruelty Volunteer Program upholds the

mission of The Anti-Cruelty Society
School Advocates operates based
on a three-part curriculum model,
Society by helping to build a community of which incorporates academic,
caring individuals dedicated to animal hands-on learning, and advocacy
advocacy. Participation in this program experiences to foster relationship-
provides Chicagoland teens with building, and to maximize participants’
opportunities to become educated collaborative learning. In the academic
about the issues shelter animals experience portion of the program,
face, and how to raise awareness youth learn about animal behavior
in their communities about these and training, such as B.F. Skinner’s
animals’ needs. Program manager, principles of operant conditioning
Elliot Serrano, and Program Lead and Pavlov’s classical conditioning
Facilitator, Sarah Williams highlight approaches. They then use this
the importance of utilizing a well- knowledge to develop behavior
thought-out curriculum while also plans, which are in turn, carried out
allowing teens to engage in self- during in-kennel cat and dog training
directed learning. Doing so provides exercises aimed at improving animal
a well-rounded set of experiences adoptability. When teens apply what
that they believe can help transform they have learned in action with
today’s youth into conscientious media shelter animals they are transformed
consumers and animal advocates. into “better animal advocates,
because of what they know.”


“They not only have this “The main reason why I got into it awareness of the different careers that
information floating around in [the program] was to use my voice,” are available for individuals interested
their head, but they get to see it one participant said, “and you know, in working with animals, and the
in action… not only from them speak of issues, and I think in this educational pathways to obtaining
doing stuff in the shelter and
case, just being an activist, is another those careers. They bring in guest
then participating, whether it’s
reason why I joined.” Another teen speakers from many different animal-
training animals, whether it’s
stated, “I feel like animals don’t get focused career fields to share their
getting to know animals, whether
it’s seeing how a shelter works
advocated for enough – there are other experiences with teens in the program,
behind the scenes, but also from problems we tend to focus on more. and educate them on the academic
the guest speakers we bring in. And I think this program is a great way pathways leading to veterinary science
They get to see how people are for me to learn how to advocate, and or medicine, shelter management,
using what they’re learning to the best ways to use social media or animal behavior training.
make a career.” and other devices to advocate.”
—Sarah, Program Leader The After School Advocates program
In addition to animal adoption advocacy,
aims to give youth with a love for
youth in the program create products
animals the information to channel
that give back to the shelters they
that interest into a future career and
work with. Teens created animal
to spread knowledge and compassion
behavior plans, engaged in social
“It’s a lot of raising awareness The main end goal of all volunteer work Teens’ animal advocacy campaigns in their communities through social
in the community about the media share-outs (e.g., Facebook
at the Anti-Cruelty Society is animal have the potential to reach individuals media platforms. “Our hope,” said
needs of animals in animal Live), drafted letters to elected officials
adoption. After School Advocates interested in animal adoption in Elliott, “is that, when [youth] leave
shelters.” about animal welfare, and oversaw an
supports this goal by providing teens ways that flyers and newspaper here, they see the knowledge
—Sarah, Program Leader animal-supply donation drive where
with opportunities to facilitate animal advertisements, alone, never could. that they’ve gained, [and] they can
hundreds of items were collected for
adoption. Each group of teens is assigned disseminate it in the language of their
Students highlighted how social media the shelter. Program leaders Elliot and
a shelter cat and shelter dog, serving generation in a way that is effective.”
is a platform that empowers them to be Sarah also work to increase teens’
as the “virtual foster” for their animals.
advocates, and also provides them with
Teens get to know their animals in a space to use their voices for issues “I have always been interested in
the shelter, and then use social media they care about. Using digital media having a career with animals, but
platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, tools and technology (DMTT) in this way I’ve never really had opportunities
“So, I think that’s a big part
and Snapchat—“up-to-date tech that also shows them, according to program at school to learn about these
of the reason why Facebook is
they’re comfortable using”—to help manager Elliott Serrano, “Oh, I have this types of things. And I think it was
way more effective, because
it does reach that wider
their animals get adopted by potential tool [DMTT] that can be used for more
the perfect way to be able to do
“forever families.” They create “adoption that and educate myself about not
audience and people who are than just my day to day [life]. It can be
campaigns” where they share video only the animals, but having that
actually potentially looking to something impactful in the community. It
ability to now tell people about
adopt an animal.” footage, pictures, and stories about can be something that makes a difference this is what goes on, and these
—Marie (pseudonym), age 17 their cat and dog with the community. in something that I care about.” Although are what these animals are going
Program leaders and teens both felt that the majority of teens reported joining through so that I can give them
social media, and especially Facebook, this program because of their existing a voice too.”
is a powerful advocacy tool, as adoption love of animals, creating adoption —Sarah, Program Leader
campaigns have the potential to “go campaigns and serving as “virtual
viral” and spread to many people across fosters” opened their eyes to the power
Chicago’s far-reaching neighborhoods. of animal advocacy, and the importance
of providing a voice for animals’ rights.


What are program
leaders who use
DMTT trying to
“I’m very adamant about teaching these young people how
to navigate to where we are right now. So, if social media’s
a big thing, let’s unpack what that really means. How is SECTION HIGHLIGHTS
that being marketed? How are things growing? What’s the
business behind a lot of these things happening? So for me,
• Program leaders generally reported
21st Century learning is about learning how to navigate
using DMTT as a means to support
through where we are socially.”
—Restoring Hope and Giving Direction, Chasing23
youth development, rather than
to learn specific DMTT skills.

• Leaders spoke about youth

empowerment and self-expression; 21st
DMTT support a range of learning century skills, such as collaboration,
goals, from youth development to creative thinking, and problem-solving;
and fostering civic engagement as
specific DMTT skills and knowledge major goals of their programs.

hen asked about what they hoped to accomplish
• Program leaders also noted the goal of
with their youth, program leaders focused far
preparing students for college, careers,
more on broad youth development goals rather
and being part of their community.
than particular expertise with specific types of DMTT.
In identifying their top three program goals, 40% of the • Acquiring specific technology
respondents selected “youth development and leadership.” skills was mentioned as a program
This goal far outranked the next most-commonly selected goal, but less often than others.
goals, which included “social-emotional skill development,”
“21st century skill learning,” “fostering youth creativity,”
“civic engagement,” and “job preparation;” some of these
goals themselves are themselves interrelated and tied
to the growth of “youth development and leadership.”


Only 17% of the program leaders Program leaders spoke passionately confidence in themselves and The leader explained, “she described how DMTT provide an immense impact. The Love, Unity,
identified “familiarity and comfort about their goals during interviews. their abilities, and empowering has so much now; knowledge accessible route for young people and Values Institute’s (LUV) program
with DMTT” as one of their top three Similar to questionnaire responses, them to understand that they and understanding of different to “have their [design] work out leader described a time when “200
goals for youth, which suggests that these leaders also primarily have options for their futures. technological concepts that she could there to kill the stereotype and the kids [were] standing in the middle of
although skilled understanding of discussed program goals related For a complete list of program do anything… [and] she knows now perception that some people may 47th Street asking for their voices to
the DMTT themselves is important, to broader youth development. goals, and the number of that there are technologies that she have of people of color, especially be heard…to honor the 17 [high school]
program leaders view DMTT as When they did reference specific programs that reported each can use to help her in her career as youth of color,” and it can “lay the victims that were killed in [Parkland,]
one, see Appendix Figure C7.
tools for supporting or enhancing technology skills, it was often a pediatrician. And that is something blueprint for some other young Florida.” She reflected, “Wow, what
the other program goals. connected to building youth’s that she didn’t have before.” people to come behind them and do an opportunity for these kids to have
Like several other programs that something completely more innovative a tool to be able to share their voice,”
participated in interviews, TechGYRLS than them.” Young people are and continued, “we need to be able
seeks to help their participants excited to “put down their thoughts to give young people tools where
Figure 5. Most-commonly Youth development and understand how technology can be and express themselves,” said the they [aren’t] just testing tools, but they
identified program goals leadership
beneficial to them no matter what leader of the University of Chicago’s [receive] training to be able to create
Social-emotional skill they decide to do in the future. Collegiate Scholars program. Youth something.” This sentiment was also
development in the program, he said, routinely tell echoed by the Mikva Challenge’s
Program leaders also described him, “I can’t wait until Common Event City Wide Youth Advisory Councils
21st century skill learning
how using DMTT in their programs [the public presentation event], so leader, who spoke about the power of
70 provides youth with unique everybody can hear my podcast.” DMTT to help youth create their own
Fostering youth creativity opportunities to share their work that they can say “this is what that stories about structural inequalities,
and perspectives, and to “talk barrier looks like [and] what the so that they can say “this is what
42 41 39
Civic engagement 36 36 about issues that matter…[and] what impact of that barrier looks like.” that barrier looks like [and] what the
they’re passionate about.” The impact of that barrier looks like.”
Job preparation
Chicago Architecture Foundation’s DMTT that allow for youth creation program leader and self-expression can have

Leaders use DMTT to support youth

empowerment and self-expression
“The goal for us was providing the Young people may often feel that using DMTT helped students
students with enrichment and the that their ideas are dismissed or learn self-expression, and that the
ability to really express themselves overlooked by adults, and they may technological knowledge their
and enhance their own world
be taught—directly or otherwise— youth gained would also empower
that their voices and opinions are them in their day-to-day lives and
—Collegiate Scholars,
less important. DMTT can provide help them think about the future.
University of Chicago
a platform for expression and A program leader for the YWCA’s
access to a range of audiences. For TechGYRLS program explained,
program leaders, giving students the “we definitely just want them to
confidence to make choices, develop be empowered,” and went on to
their interests and passions, and
have “the ability to really express
themselves” was key. They felt
describe a girl who had been coming
to the program for four years and
who wanted to be a pediatrician.
c L
Leaders use DMTT to build 21st She explained, “it teaches them to apply that sort of
problem solving to everything else…like, here’s a problem
century and lifelong skills
in my neighborhood, how to resolve the problem…what’s
“It’s important for us to do work like this so that as our the next strategy?’
young people transition into adulthood, they now have the
tools that just get them into the door so they can start to
think through how to be successful in life,” said the program
Leaders use DMTT to foster civic
leader at the LUV Institute. Several program leaders spoke engagement
similarly about using DMTT to help youth develop critical
thinking, creative problem-solving, and collaboration skills “By the end of the program, they are like, ‘yeah, young THE INFERNO
so that their participants would, as one phrased it, “view
people can actually effect change.’“
—City-Wide Youth Advisory Councils, Mikva Challenge
themselves as active, lifelong learners.” Research has shown
that these types of skills are critical not only for academic
Program leaders also focused on engaging youth in
achievement, but also for success in the workplace, for
community awareness and advocacy. One noted, “the civic
building relationships, and for engaging in society (National
engagement piece, getting out in the community talking The Inferno Mobile Recording Studio,
Research Council, 2013). High-quality OST programs serve
about the issues…that’s the core of it.” At the Anti-Cruelty run by the Chicago Park District, is
as one important context where youth can acquire and
Society, program leaders described their desire to awaken a about ten years old. It was created
develop these valuable life skills (Vandell et al., 2015).
sense of awareness and a taste for advocacy in their youth when a group of teens in Marquette
At the Chicago Park District, the Inferno Mobile Recording participants. They wanted to help young people learn how Park in Chicago were organizing a youth
Studio program leader described a focus on 21st century to engage in their communities, regardless of whether it arts program. One of the ideas they
skills through their intention to foster collaboration among had to do with the animal-focused mission of the group: brainstormed was to build a recording
their youth in this way: studio at the park. This grew into the
It doesn’t even necessarily have to be an animal welfare Inferno Mobile studio that serves all
track. If it’s something having to do with advocacy…
They’re engaged in a process of creation where they’re parks in the city. Chicago artists who
dealing with an issue that goes on in your community…
doing it shoulder to shoulder, collaboratively, and not in are making music and media are
They learn about animal cruelty, how it hurts
competition with peers. [We want] them to realize that hired to lead the program. During the
communities and society. Maybe from that they’ll say,
they can replicate that over and over and over again… academic year, they provide after-school
“Hey, you know what? I want to get into more - I see
the goal is to replicate that…to push young people’s programming and work with the libraries
why domestic violence is wrong. What are things we can
competitive sensibilities into the background and push their
do to address that in our community? and other partners throughout the year.
collaborative sensibilities into the foreground.
But summer is the season when the
—Inferno Mobile Recording Studio, Chicago Park District
Inferno Mobile Recording Studio shines.
Through the work of these programs, leaders do find
The artists use a basic lesson plan to run
that youth internalize and embrace the mindset that they
Contrary to the popular idea that modern technology often collaborative media creation sessions
“These are not just skills that we kind of pulled out can make a difference. In questionnaires administered
isolates youth, several program leaders noted that youth all around the city. They post all of their
of the sky, 21st century learning is critical to the at the beginning of their program, the Mikva Challenge
possess the ability to collaborate with others through DMTT. music to their SoundCloud and all videos
survival of any young person.” leaders ask youth, “Do you feel like young people have
Other leaders highlighted the role of DMTT in facilitating to YouTube. By the end of the summer,
—Project Lab Program, Ladies of Virtue power, or do young people in your community or in your
problem-solving skills development. The Chicago Arts they have had dozens of sessions
city, Chicago, have power to make change, influence
Partnership in Education’s SCALE: North Grand Video that they use to create something
change?” Program leaders told Outlier that many young
program leader, for example, spoke about the problem- larger and what the program leader
people did not feel they had a voice in their communities.
solving that happens as youth create their videos. describes as “beautiful and different.”
“By the end of the program,” however, “they’re like,
yeah, young people can actually effect change.”
to learn and use the “same skills [as] professionals in
the field.” Youth in the program become “meaningful
participants in [a] program that challenges them
to do real science.” This type of empowerment is
also central to the YWCA’s TechGYRLS program’s
desire to teach DMTT skills to youth; the program
is built to “empower [girls] to know that they can
Leaders use DMTT to do it [work with technology] if they want.”
prepare youth for the future
Despite some progress, inequities persist for
“We want to make sure that we are setting these underrepresented groups, including women,
young people up on some type of career path or in technology-related fields, and stereotypes
some type of feeling in which they can use what they about who is able to and should be working
possess in their talents and their skills and shine at a with technology continue. Programs such as
different level.”
TechGYRLS work explicitly to combat these
—City Wide Youth Councils, stereotypes as a means to reduce inequalities
Mikva Challenge in technology-related fields in the long-term.
As the leader further explained, it’s about
“being able to have that confidence to go into a
situation and say, ‘Well, this has got technology.
I’m not afraid of it. I know how that works. I’ve
seen that. I’ve done that. I’ve mastered that.
Here, let me show you how it’s done.’”
Preparing youth for future employment and college young people get now with DMTT positions them to He went on: “If from a young age [you] start to
attendance was another common goal articulated be able to “use these tools for their future careers,” identify yourself as a creator and get used to a
by program leaders in interviews. At MAPSCorps, and continued, “if we can get [DMTT] tools to young flow of output rather than input, then later on in
program leaders want participants to have a clear people at an early age, then we have an opportunity your life, you’re more likely to continue that and to
place to go once they graduate from high school: to really prepare them for the future.” The MAPSCorps build on that and to further that [and] contribute
“we want them to be enrolled in…it could be the program leader described the importance of DMTT to your communities and to society as a whole.”
Army or college, two-year college, or four-year similarly, noting that the program’s goal to ensure youth
college, or whatever. We want them to have a are “on the right path to be successful in college and
home, a place somewhere.” Other programs, such career” is linked to exposure to DMTT and “being able Leaders use DMTT to develop
as TechGYRLS, expressed more specific career to use them successfully…wherever they end up.” specific technology skills
goals for their youth, describing their intention to
direct program participants toward STEAM (science, Using DMTT in programs can also support the While learning specific DMTT skills was mentioned
technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) development of a young person’s sense of identity less frequently as a major goal of these OST
careers. As a leader at that program explained, “we as a creator of and contributor to knowledge, programs, it was present for leaders, often as a way to
really believe that we need more women to be in rather than just the traditional notion of consumer. build confidence in addition to technical capabilities.
STEAM careers. We try and find women to come talk The leader of the Chicago Park District’s Inferno In some cases, program leaders referred to basic
to the girls that are in STEAM careers, and it is so Mobile Recording Studio spoke about how as technology skills that might be needed in youth’s lives
difficult, so difficult, because there aren’t that many.” youth “play” with DMTT, they “begin to be more or in any future careers. Other leaders noted more
comfortable with them and… inherently create concrete goals related to specific technologies. For
For program leaders, DMTT played an important role more and feel like that’s a normal thing, and that example, the Adler Planetarium’s Team Stratonauts
in helping them realize these types of goals for youth. that’s a good thing and that that’s a fun thing.” program provides youth with tools that require them
LUV’s program leader explained that the experience


“I feel, like critical thinking is imaginative, or creative, problem solving.
Giving them a task that hasn’t been accomplished before takes some
creativity and that creativity leads to critical thinking and that critical
thinking is imperative in 21st century skill building.”
—Team Stratonauts, Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium - Team Stratonauts

Using DMTT for Authentic Teen Challenges

S IT E S TORY The Adler Planetarium strives to inspire Stratonaut teens transform into “citizen
exploration and an understanding of scientists” who are able to partner

Adler the universe. To engage youth with

this mission and in science and space
with science and STEM mentors in the
broader research community to pursue

Planetarium exploration, Teen Programs Director

Kelly Borden highlights the importance
their science and space exploration
interests and solve real-world problems.
of aligning teens’ interests with
“…if you want to learn
opportunities for hands-on learning. Teens participating in Team Stratonauts
about science, if you want
In its second year of existence, the said they joined the program because
to learn about engineering,
Team Stratonauts program achieves they wanted more opportunities to
you have to do it.”
these goals by providing Chicago contribute to scientific research in
—Kelly Borden,
teens with opportunities to use digital meaningful ways. As Michael, age
Organization Leader
media tools and technology (DMTT) to 15, said, “we’re actually contributing
solve authentic, real-world scientific to a research project. We’re here
challenges. Through the use of the because we want to contribute
different types of DMTT offered by this to actual scientific research, and
program, teens move from thinking [involvement in] this [program] is
of themselves just as students to allowing us to do it.” Christina, age
identifying as practitioners invested 18, emphasized the role of DMTT in
in solving science-related challenges her decision to join the program. She
that their communities are faced with. said, youth are “given the freedom
Gaining increased confidence and to kind of dive into technology and…
competence with science, technology, make it work for us and the project[s]
engineering, and math (STEM), and that we’re trying to accomplish.”
working with DMTT, helps Team
This project is the first systematic meteorology, computer science, and “I’ve figured out that I’m really
process designed to retrieve marine biology, including researchers interested in astroscience,
meteorite fragments from a body and scientists from the Museum of astrophysics, and then this year, I

of water through the development Science and Industry and the Shedd also realized I want to double-major
astrophysics-math, kind of thing,
of an under-water rover craft that Aquarium. Engaging with experts
because calculus is really fun. I’d like
is also capable of mapping marine in these fields has allowed teens to
to go to college for that and work
landscapes. To create this sled, teens learn from and network with scholars
as an astrophysicist at NASA.”
work independently with different in scientific fields they may want to
—Abigail (pseudonym), age 16
types of DMTT, according to their pursue for their future careers. Youth
interests. However, creation of the also spoke with excitement about
sled ultimately depended on teens’ being treated as true collaborators.
teamwork skills, since they needed As one said, “it’s been great working
to collaborate to figure out how with professionals, with experts.
all the different pieces of DMTT fit And yeah, they have college
together to finalize the sled. The role degrees, they’re doing this for a
that DMTT plays in the experience living, but at the same time, they’re
is key, Chris said, “Because of the our colleagues, and we work with
DMTT, you are able to both build it them.” Abigail, age 16, reinforced this
“We’re not teaching them how to
in the digital landscape and see it idea, saying, “I think being in these
be an engineer as much as inspiring
“I want to major in computer
The DMTT they use includes TinkerCAD, opportunities for creativity and active come to life in the physical, which programs really helps because you
them to become engineers.”
science and maybe have my own 3D printing, soldering circuits, and learning as a way to promote teens’ is valuable.” More specifically, he have access to these people who —Ken Walczak, Program Manager,
software company in the future.” programming languages, among confidence in their ability to contribute said, “from the coding side of things, know a lot about it, and professionals, Far Horizons Intern Program
—Christina (pseudonym), age 18 others. This sort of interaction with to authentic and complex scientific it allows students to experiment and you can use it to apply to specific
science is very different from how research. They are firm in their beliefs and sample and experiment with projects, as opposed to just dabbling
the subject is sometimes presented that hands-on learning and having writing code that has a real-world in it, or seeing it at your school
in schools. “In school,” said Michelle, access to different types of DMTT are application and a tangible result as or at the library or something.”
age 16, “you learn your basic biology, important, and they emphasize that opposed to something that lives
chemistry, and physics, and it is very resourceful and successful scientists completely in the computer.” Through STEM-rich experiences
“I want to work in astronomy. I want
text-book oriented, and you do a lot of are literate in a number of technologies, and interaction with professionals
to work in professional research
science for the rest of my life.” math worksheets.” However, through and possess the ability to adapt to Clearly, both youth and adult in the field, the Team Stratonauts
—Michael (pseudonym), age 15 participation in Team Stratonauts, figure out how to use new tools and mentors are excited by the Aquarius program strives to not only teach
the theoretical concepts and technologies to benefit their research. Project work, and the teens valued teens the skills they need to pursue
scientific processes she read about the collaborative and collegial STEM-related careers, but also, and
in her textbooks were transformed Ken also underscored that science mentorship approaches taken by more importantly, to inspire today’s
into a new version of science is a creative endeavor. Through the their program leaders. “It’s kind of like youth to pursue their science and
dominated by hands-on learning. Aquarius Project, teens in Team a symbiotic relationship,” one said. exploration passions. Incorporating
“I definitely want to go to college
Stratonauts are currently incorporating “Like we need them as much as they cutting-edge DMTT not only
and major in engineering. This model is very intentional— DMTT to create a magnetic underwater need us, so if they need help, we’re peaks their interests in STEM, but
Yeah, my dream job has always the program “thrives on hands-on, meteor sled that is able to retrieve going to help them, and vice versa.” allows youth to act as—and see
been to work at NASA.” applicable science,” said Program meteorites, or meteorite fragments, themselves as—true scientists.
—Michelle (pseudonym), age 16 Manager Chris Bresky. He and his from the bottom of Lake Michigan. Through this project, the teens
colleague, Ken Walczak (the program have also had the opportunity to
manager for Adler’s Far Horizons Intern collaborate with leading research
Program), do their best to incorporate professionals in engineering,


How do programs using
DMTT reach their goals?
“My job is to engage them in the project itself; so my job is to craft this narrative
that ‘You are the first people to helm an underwater meteorite challenge, [it is] a
meteriorite hunt, so that is your end goal.’ My job, I guess, is to stoke that fire or
even light that spark. “ SECTION HIGHLIGHTS
—Team Stratonauts, Adler Planetarium
• Programs using DMTT tend to report
youth being actively engaged and
working together, rather than merely
DMTT program leaders use student-centered consuming media and technology.
and student-driven teaching and learning

• DMTT help to engage youth, and
hen asked about the strategies write in their own strategies. Three learning keep them engaged, by catching
they use for learning in their strategies stood out as the most common their attention and by allowing them
programs, questionnaire selections. First is “youth are actively to work in a variety of ways.
respondents overwhelmingly identified engaged” (43%), followed by “participants
approaches that put the learning experience collaborate” (38%), and “participants engage • Many programs focus on utilizing DMTT
in the hands of their youth participants, in creation and ‘making’” (29%). When Outlier for youth collaboration, which challenges
highlighting the importance of relevance and spoke to program leaders, they provided
the perception that DMTT use isolates
ownership in youth learning experiences. examples of these strategies in action,
youth. Programs foster collaboration in
The questionnaire asked them to select as well as the ways they intersect with
different ways depending on the types of
up to three strategies (derived from the DMTT to accomplish the program goals.
DMTT they use and the program focus.
DMTT literature) that they emphasize in their
For a full list of questionnaire findings on program
program. They were also given a chance to learning strategies see Appendix Figure C8.
• DMTT are used in programs for creation
and making, often with the goal of
Learners are actively engaged self-expression and empowerment.
Figure 6. Most-commonly
identified learning strategies • Sharing youth-created content is an
Participatns collaborate
important aspect of some programs;
Participants engage in creation DMTT use facilitates this goal.
and "making"
Interest-driver learning and 66 • Programs are often designed to not
51 only be flexible to accommodate
Participants share created
content 35 34 varying needs, but also to be driven
by youth interest and desires.
Learners move at their own


Youth are actively engaged
A common theme across programs, from youth was not enough—they Program leaders also try to be
“active engagement” took many also had to work to maintain it. One responsive to youth needs and give
forms. In the Mikva Challenge City explained, “you want the students to in-the-moment feedback to keep
Wide Youth Advisory Councils, show up, especially with high school. them interested and engaged. In
for example, active learning was So, it needs to be something…. one program, adults make an effort
considered the foundation of that the students are interested in to work “on the spot” with youth
the entire program, whereas the investigating…[that] students actually and to “utilize[e] small teaching
MAPSCorps program described care about learning.” DMTT played moments.” In another, a recording
the curriculum they use as “an a role here as well. Leaders said, artist worked alongside an assistant
active learning process.” In the “I gotta keep their attention… [and who was there to support youth
After School Advocates program DMTT will] grab their attention.” while recording sound samples
at the Anti-Cruelty Society, The leader of the Mikva Challenge for their musical creations. The
active learning entails youth City Wide Youth Advisory Councils TechGYRLS program leader
putting their knowledge about highlighted how engaging with explained the important role of
animal behavior “into practice,” DMTT enabled youth to learn in the adults in maintaining engagement,
and in the Chicago Architecture same space in different ways. They saying, “We give the girls as many
Foundation’s can “contribute in their own way tools as we can in the beginning,
online platform, active learning to the program by using tools like outlining everything that we’re
means that youth not only “solve video and media, [which] provide going to be working on. And then
a design challenge, but design different on ramps and entry points they get stuck and they want to
design challenges” for others. for young people to engage with give up, and the adult [says] ‘Hey,
the program and develop and utilize what about this?’ as a way to Participants collaborate in
It was clear from leaders, however, their skillset in [different] ways.” highlight …options, or different
that getting initial engagement
various ways
ways, to approach a project.”
Although many programs shared the goal of facilitating
collaboration, the ways they achieved this were shaped
by their topic areas and the DMTT they used. At the
Adler Planetarium’s Team Stratonauts program, for
example, one form of collaboration involves the use of
Google Docs and Sheets for content creation. On the
“We consider ourselves as guides on the other hand, in the Chicago Arts Partnership’s SCALE:
side. It is a student-led program, and the North Grand Video program, youth work in groups
instructors really support the goals and to “help each other film [and] make suggestions” to
objectives of the program.” each other as they watch and critique videos. At the “[If students] are doing AR (augmented reality),
— YWCA’s TechGYRLS program, they build “foundations” one girl is designing what’s called an AR marker,
Project Lab, Ladies of Virtue
and the other girl is designing the app to interact
for the way participants interact, both inside and
with the marker… when one has an idea, the
outside of the program, and the Mikva Challenge City
other… implements it [and] gives feedback so that
Wide Youth Advisory Councils program emphasizes
they collaborate… and come out with something
collaboration even for youth who say they prefer to together.”
work alone or who do not like working in groups.
— YWCA Metropolitan Chicago


Participants engage in creation,
Programs harnessed the power authentic stories, saying, “we need
making, and expression “[Youth] each design[ed] digital versions
of DMTT to tell and share stories people to know that our young of vision boards. The girls were looking

Creation and making with DMTT The Mikva Challenge City Wide as well. Participants in the LUV people are doing amazing things, at themselves, looking at their future,
potentially, what it is that they felt about
was a frequently-reported theme Youth Advisory Council program also Institute’s The Journey to My Better and they’re future politicians, or
themselves. How they saw themselves.
associated with program leaders’ emphasizes creation and making, Self media program learn to use your future stakeholders that you Where they saw themselves being in five,
goals to facilitate youth self- but in the context of juvenile justice. cameras and computers to conduct wanna have in your community ten, fifteen, twenty years. What they wanted
expression and empowerment. The Here, youth work with program interviews with each other and or at the forefront of work…We to do, what they hoped to do. What they
Chicago Park District’s Inferno Mobile leaders to identify the juvenile guests to tell their stories through need to use DMTT, because if we planned to do… just pouring themselves

Recording Studio program leaders, justice issues they care about, and videos. Mikva Challenge program don’t, then it’s like a hidden gem… out in these videos through this medium of
Adobe After Effects...So you had animation,
for example, encourage fearless, then they figure out how to address leaders also observed the value we want everybody to know what
and you had visual effects all going together
hands-on engagement, telling youth, each issue, and the best tools for of sharing content as a means they do and what they can do.” with music, and then these ideas just come
“don’t be afraid to touch the gear and the job. Youth often use “videos… for youth communicating their through about them, and their hopes, and
“We had a workshop around knowing
experiment,” and “if there’s something create their own websites, create their dreams, and their plans, and their
your rights as a young person if
you want to go to DC and be part
that you don’t know how to do or apps [and] create policy reports,” but passions.”

there’s something that you want to they are also encouraged to go “off —TechGYRLS, YWCA Metropolitan
of a protest or just protest in your
neighborhood. Through all of these do, don’t wait for an adult to tell you the menu” of usual DMTT options,
Learning and activities are Chicago
unofficial and informal conversations how to do it.” They aim to empower if they find something else that is driven by youth interests
with young people…they really
youth with the agency to “use these a good fit for a particular project.
wanted to be heard. But there’s many The flexible nature of many OST The importance of following
creative tools instead of…engaging
ways in which they can be heard programs enables program leaders youth interests, however, is not
and that’s how we then started to in a more passive learning process.”
to account for the particular needs overshadowed by the commitment
think about digital tools and we said, “It is youth driven…the sessions that we
and interests of different program to learning. The leader of Team
“well, what about creating their own do are always [inspired by] things that
participants. “I run my programs to Stratonauts at the Adler Planetarium come directly from the young people.”
—Collegiate Scholars, Participants share created content adapt organically with the students,” explained, “I help guide them in —Inferno Mobile Recording Studio,
University of Chicago one leader explained, “so I monitor the direction that is both going to Chicago Park District
with others outside of the program their engagement [in activities] as we align with their interests, but also
For some programs, it was important In other programs, youth use social go along” and adjust as needed. In challenge them and [help them]
for youth to not only create, but media to share their work with another program, students decide learn something.” There, youth
“We just did a documentary for the also share their created content wider audiences, such as in the how they want to spend their time, are exposed to different activities,
Chicago Public School engagement
publicly. In the MAPSCorps program, Anti-Cruelty Society’s After School telling the program leader, “Hey, but “if someone isn’t gravitating
team… CPS said, “hey, we want you guys
for example, youth present their Advocates program, where young this is what I want to do [with video toward coding and they have been
to create a video of young people talking
about how there is no protocol set up for
asset-based community data with people harness the power of social equipment]. How do I do it? Show disengaged for several lessons [the
CPS for re-entry.” So, if a young person program partners weekly, to “get media to share “their experiences me what’s going on.” In the Inferno leaders will]… start encouraging
is expelled for three days, or if a young feedback from the community- with animals…take pictures of them… Mobile Recording Studio program, them to explore other options.”
person is out sick for five days, or a 10- based organizations [and] other [or share] a short video” as way to students decide what they are going Ladies of Virtue’s Project Lab
day suspension, or a transfer student,
stakeholders” about their work support animal adoption efforts to talk about and make recordings also asks participants to “come
or a refugee, or hospitalization [there
process and findings. These central to the program. The Mikva based on their own interests and up with the topics themselves,”
is no protocol]. [The youth said] “Hey
let’s create a documentary of all of these weekly interactions culminate in Challenge City Wide Youth Advisory current happenings in their lives: “If with the intention of creating more
different scenarios and descriptions of a final symposium at the end of Council program similarly noted that somebody’s upset about the way engagement. Youth tell the program
these young people.” the program, where youth engage youth “have their phones in their that their brother or sister is treating leaders, “this is what impacts me,
—City Wide Youth Advisory Councils,
in conversations with community hands, so, hey, let’s go live or send them, we use that as a springboard and this is what I want to talk about.”
Mikva Challenge
members about their work. out a tweet or let’s write a blog or for what we’re going to talk about, The drive to complete the work is
whatever it may be” to share the record, and create that day.” enhanced because it comes from
program’s work, goals, and message. “their own hearts and passions.”

“I really want our programming to be accessible to all young people. Not just
the young people that are interested in this type of stuff [issues facing youth
in the Juvenile Justice System]. I want to reach out to the young people that
would never see themselves as leaders.”
—Michelle Morales, Chief Executive Officer

Mikva Challenge – City Wide Youth Advisory Councils

(Juvenile Justice Council)
Using DMTT to Give Youth a Voice in their Communities

Mikva Challenge was founded in 1997 its programming, and leaders speak
based on the vision of Abner Mikva—a emphatically about the importance of

Mikva former White House Counsel, Judge,

U.S. Congressman, and well-known
democracy reflecting those individuals
that it serves. Michelle Morales, Chief

Democratic politician in the City of Executive Officer at Mikva Challenge,
Chicago—who sought to increase explains, “[we want youth] to really see
access to democratic spaces for youth themselves as an agent of change in
living in under-resourced communities. government….to understand that they
Mikva and his wife Zoe, who was also have a role, and a right to demand
“[Without DMTT], we would a political and educational activist, accountability from their government…
lose our ability to create our
worked to provide opportunities for what we ultimately want is for young
own story.”
young people to engage in positive people to see themselves running
—Steven Rosado,
Senior Program Director
political experiences in order to for office, and see themselves
empower them to be more civically- holding positions of authority.”
engaged and informed about issues
facing their communities. Current Giving youth a voice in local
programs, including the City Wide government and policy allows them to
Youth Advisory Councils, continue grow to self-identify as positive agents
this work, “tackling issues of equity” of change in their communities. At
and creating “an environment where Mikva Challenge, the City Wide Youth
youth, especially underprivileged Advisory Councils provide the arena
youth, are encouraged to use their where youth voices can be heard, and
voice to advocate for changes in digital media tools and technology
policy.” This emphasis on youth voice (DMTT) helps to amplify their voices.
is at the heart of the organization and

The councils were created to connect youth with The program and organization leadership were
major policy-making institutions such as health in agreement on wanting young people to have
care, affordable public housing authorities, and their “fingerprints” all over the program, their
education leaders, so that their perspectives belief that engaging with DMTT, particularly
can be accounted for in policy decisions in these social media, provides a unique platform to reach
areas. The Juvenile Justice Council, focuses audiences across Chicago’s diverse political
explicitly on helping young people become experts landscape. For instance, council members used
in the juvenile justice field so that the barriers computers, audio and video production hardware/
faced by those involved in “the system” can be software, photography editing software, and
communicated to parole and probation officers, cameras to create a mobile/web-based app that
Cook County detention center staff, public defenders provides information about how to expunge
and states attorneys, and elected officials. The juvenile criminal court cases. James, a program
Council works to “[reach] out to people who have leader, believes that “just using what [DMTT]
power to change the system that isn’t working they love to highlight something that they’re
for us,” says an 18 year-old council member. passionate about is the perfect solution for us
“I think as an organization that is youth facing, and
youth centered where we are working with youth, to share our work,” and he hopes to continue
Sixty percent of the young people on this council and developing youth….we have to be on the cutting to “be scrappy” when it comes to providing
are court-involved youth. “We can’t have a council edge of technology and media.” council members with more opportunities to
that represents the interest of the juvenile justice —Michelle Morales, Chief Executive Officer engage with a variety of DMTT in the future.
system without having young people currently
or formerly involved in the system,” said Senior “Communication skills. Communication is
Program Director Steven Rosado. Program Leader everything. If you don’t have the communication
James Fields said he specifically seeks out officials to make research-based recommendations then you have misunderstanding.”
youth from these backgrounds, to empower them to public defenders, states attorneys, and —Rebecca (pseudonym), age 19

and to ensure they bring balanced and diverse judges to improve youth experience within the
perspectives to the issues youth are advocating for juvenile justice system in Cook County, IL. In an organization that stresses the power of
and focusing on. Together, these youth engage in DMTT supports the work carried out by the Juvenile communication and the importance of youth
community outreach with Chicagoland and county Justice Council in a number of ways. Council voice, DMTT plays a valuable role in enabling
members create a variety of work products using young people to be critical analyzers of potential
DMTT, including digital “White Papers” to be shared changes they would like policy makers and
with state and local government representatives, elected officials to advocate for to the benefit of
presentations and public-service announcements to their communities. Youth serving on the council
generate community awareness, and documentaries, learn to be respectful and accountable in a
vlogs, and blogs to share more information about collaborative and creative environment that allows
relevant issues. Computers, the internet, and Chicago’s “unheard voices” to be heard; with
Microsoft Office Suite provide youth with the tools DMTT, their voices reach an even wider audience.
to conduct research and to evaluate the current
state of affairs around the juvenile justice system so
“We want to see a democracy that’s made up of the people
that they can present informed recommendations.
that it impacts.”
Recently, for example, council members shared their
—Michelle Morales, Chief Executive Officer
research on the importance of public defenders
offering multiple communication platforms, such as
WhatsApp, when reaching out to their parolees.


Where are the
programs that
who do these • Responding organizations were located

programs serve? throughout the City of Chicago, but the

programs with DMTT that they reported
on often aimed to serve the South,
West, and Southwest sides of Chicago.

n essential piece of capturing Chicago’s DMTT • About a quarter of the programs
program landscape involved understanding where the targeted specific populations, such as
organizations offering these programs are located and girls or specific racial/ethnic groups.
who the programs are serving. Outlier’s questionnaire asked
respondents to provide this information in order to establish • The programs tended to be racially
baseline data that would allow for tracking growth and and ethnically diverse, although almost
progress of DMTT programs over time. While the programs half reported having predominantly
included in this analysis are a modest portion of the many Black or African American youth.
programs offered to youth in the City of Chicago, these data
provide an important starting point for dialogue, development, • The programs served more female
and future study of DMTT use in youth-serving OST programs. than male youth, and served
mainly youth in the 13-18 year-old
(e.g., high school) age range.
In the sample of programs that completed the questionnaire,
program leaders indicated that efforts are being made to • Programs tended to serve relatively
serve Chicago communities and groups (particularly female small groups of participants, with most
and Black or African American youth) who are underserved serving under 40 youth at a time.
and underrepresented in fields related to DMTT. This finding
is promising, and suggests that youth-serving OST programs, • Programs with DMTT used many
and their leaders, possess an awareness of the inequities avenues—from school events to social
that exist in the City of Chicago and are making intentional media to targeted strategies—to
efforts to address them. Future research is needed to recruit youth to join their program.
understand the proportions of youth in specific gender, racial/
ethnic, or socioeconomic status groups who are benefitting
from participation in OST programs with DMTT, and how to
make opportunities more readily available to all youth.


Organizations that provide OST programs for
Figure 7. Regions where programs intended to serve youth
Note. Organizations could select as many regions as applicable.
youth reside across the City of Chicago
The organizations that responded to the however, the fact that organizations were not
questionnaire were dispersed across Chicago’s solely located in highly-resourced areas of the
far-reaching neighborhoods, as were the city is meaningful. Additionally, organizations
Far North Side - 6 organizations that offered programs with DMTT. offer relatively similar numbers of programs with
It is important to note that an organization’s DMTT across all regions and generally have
location does not necessarily reflect the regions comparable numbers of staff (full-time, part-
that the organization targets for its programming; time, and volunteer) running those programs.

North Side - 16

Northwest Programs with DMTT targeted the traditionally under-

Side - 13 resourced South Side more than any other region
Central - 18 The questionnaire provided respondents with a all regions. Thirty-six percent (n = 63) reported
West Side - 45
map of nine Chicago regions (e.g., Central, Far that they served only one region, and the
North Side, South Side, West Side) and asked remainder (33%, n = 59) served multiple areas
each individual completing the questionnaire of the city, indicating anywhere between 2
to identify the regions their program intends and 7 regions. The South Side was the most
South Side - 70 to serve (Figure 7). The respondents could be commonly identified region that programs
categorized into three relatively equal groups. intended to serve, selected by 70 program
Thirty percent (n = 53) of the organizations leaders; this was followed by the West Side
indicated that their program intended to serve (n = 45) and Southwest Side (n = 34).
Side - 34
Programs with DMTT report serving youth from the three
typically under-resourced Chicago communities identified
Far Southwest
Side - 16 above as targeted areas. However, they do not appear to
Far Southeast serve all of the regions they intend to
Side - 18
The three regions respondents reported that = 61, 35%). However, while fifty-three (30%)
they aimed to serve were in fact the regions programs indicated that they intended to serve
that they reported their participants came all Chicago regions, only eighteen programs
from (Figure 8). These regions included the (10.3%) reported that they have participants
South Side (n = 92 responses, 53%), the West who come equally from all of them.
Side (n = 65, 37%), and Southwest Side (n


Only some programs with DMTT report targeting
Figure 8. Regions where youth attending programs came from
specific populations of youth to serve, but those that
Note. Organizations could select up to 3 regions.
do targeted diverse groups of youth.
Forty-six programs with DMTT (28.8%) reported that ethnic identity, and age group compositions of
they target at least one specific population of youth youth program participants. It is important to note
Far North Side - 12 when recruiting participants to join their program. here that these demographic data were provided
Respondents were able to select more than one by the program or organizational leader who
target population in their responses. See Figure 9. completed the questionnaire, not firsthand by
the youth participants attending these programs.
Additionally, respondents were asked to describe In each question, respondents were also given
North Side - 30 the populations currently being served in their the option to indicate that they did not know.
Northwest programs, including the gender identity, racial/
Side - 16

Central - 23
West Side - 65
Figure 9. Program target populations

South Side - 92
African American youth 30 65%

Females 29 63%

Side - 61 Youth from economically-disadvantaged families 28 61%

Far Southeast
Side - 20 Hispanic/Latinx youth 24 52%
Far Southwest
Side - 16

Males 22 48%

Note. Forty-six organizations reported that they target specific populations of youth for
their programming. Organizations could select as many youth populations that applied.


The reported racial/ethnic identity composition
of program participants was diverse Programs with DMTT serve females more than males
Outlier devised a set of criteria to help describe the groups. These programs were considered “majority two Although only twelve programs (7.5%) reported serving serving only males. Thirteen program leaders
racial/ethnic identity composition of participants in racial/ethnic groups.” Thirty-nine organizations (24.5%) only female participants, as a whole, programs with reported that they did not know the gender identity
programs with DMTT. Seventy-one of the organizations reported serving populations that were diverse (i.e., DMTT served more females than males. Fifty program of the youth participating in their program. On the
(44.7%) reported serving populations consisting of at least 70% of their participants come from three or leaders (31.1%) reported that they served more questionnaire, program leaders were presented
at least 70% Black or African American participants, more ethnic/racial identity groups). Ten (6.3%) program (greater than 50%) females than male participants, with options to select non-binary/third gender or
with the remaining program participants being youth leaders reported serving populations consisting whereas only 35 (21.7%) reported serving more male “other” gender. Seventeen organizations (10%)
from any other racial/ethnic group (non-Black or non- of at least 70% LatinX participants (“predominantly than female youth. This is consistent with the finding reported that their program participants included
African American; e.g., LatinX, White, Asian, Other). LatinX”), with the remaining program participants noted above that more programs specifically target youth identifying as non-binary/third gender (1-
These programs were considered “predominantly being youth from any other racial/ethnic identity group females than specifically target males or non-binary/ 50% of program participants in the organization).
Black or African American.” Twenty (12.6%) program (i.e., non-LatinX). The remaining respondents (9.4%) third gender youth. About twenty-percent (19.3%, n = Four organizations (2%) reported that their program
leaders reported that at least 70% of participants in reported that they did not know the racial/ethnic 31 programs) of the respondents reported that their participants included youth identifying as “other”
their program came from only two racial/ethnic identity composition of youth participating in their program. programs included an equal number of male and (2-10% of program participants in the organization).
female participants, and only three (1.9%) reported

Figure 10. Reported racial/ethnic composition of program participants Figure 11. Reported gender identity composition of program participants

Over 70% Black or African All girls

Predominantly girls
Over 70% Hispanic
15 13 12
3 11
4 6 More girls than boys

20 Racially diverse
71 Equal split
Two majority races 50 More boys than girls

Predominantly boys
10 Other racial makeup 31

All boys

Note. Seventeen organizations reported that their program participants included youth
Note. The “other racial makeup” category included organizations who reported that their
identifying as non-binary/third gender (1-50% of program participants in the organization).
program participants were mostly Asian (3 organization) and mostly White (1 organization).
Four organizations reported that their program participants included youth identifying as “other”
(2-10% of program participants in the organization).


Most participants in youth-serving programs Programs with DMTT recruit
with DMTT are between 13 and 18 years old participants every way they can
Youth participating in organizations offering youth). One-hundred and thirty-six organizations When asked how they recruit participants, Others referenced the challenge of transportation
programs with DMTT ranged in age from 12 years (78%) reported that youth in their programming respondents’ answers included using everything even when programs provide youth with fare cards
old (or younger) to 25 years (or older). Programs with were between the ages of 13 to 15 years. Seventy- from maker fairs, school events, and social media to to help deter the cost of public transportation. The
DMTT most often served young people between three organizations (n = 127) reported that youth reach participants. Some took advantage of events program leader of the After School Advocates
the ages of 13 to 18 years (i.e., high school age were between the ages of 16 to 18 years old. run by Chicago Public Schools (such as back-to- program at the Anti-Cruelty Society noted the
school fairs), whereas others worked with existing challenge of achieving gender balance: “we’re
organizations that conduct youth programming, such trying really hard to get more young boys into the
as After School Matters, Move Media, and Park Kids. program…animal welfare, like any other type of social
Figure 12. Participant composition by age in programs with DMTT Programs also capitalized on events run by community service, is female dominated.” On the other hand,
partners (e.g. churches, libraries, local businesses), the leader of Ladies of Virtue’s Project Lab, which
resources from other programs that reach youth (e.g. focuses exclusively on girls, indicated that it simply
12 or younger 54 31%
Chicago City of Learning, One Summer Chicago), did not have enough space to accommodate all
and word of mouth to recruit young people. who wanted to participate, saying, “the challenge
13-15 years 136 78%
now with recruiting is that we have so many girls,
Some program leaders carry out targeted recruitment:
16-18 years 127 73%
and we have to turn down girls from participating.”
“I’ll go to the JTDC [juvenile temporary detention
center]. I’ll pretty much wait till they get out of
19-21 years 46 26%
court or go in the court, tell them a little bit about
the program, and pass out my cards there, say, hey,
22-24 years 22 13%
this is a great opportunity for you to participate
and hone these leadership skills that you definitely
25 years or older 9 5% possess…”
—City Wide Youth Advisory Councils, Mikva
Unknown 2 1% Challenge

Others, in contrast, cast as wide net as possible:

Note. No organizations reported that their program participants were all
“12 or younger” or “25 years or older”. “I’ve been to so many different educator
meetups, and workshops, and back-to-school
fairs, after school fairs, summer school fairs ...
Just everywhere I can.”
A majority of programs with DMTT serve
Getting youth in the program’s door is not just a
40 or fewer youth at a time
recruitment challenge for program leaders; youth face
When asked how many participants their programs other end of the spectrum, 19 organizations (11.8%) financial and structural barriers as well. Even when
served, programs reported numbers ranging from reported that 200 or more youth are participating youth are aware of the programs, physically getting
one to over 200 youth participants. However, most in the program. The variation in these numbers may to the programs is a challenge of its own. One leader
leaders (59%) reported that fewer than 40 youth be due to program structure (i.e., drop-in versus spoke about the fact that some youth need to work
participate in their program at a time, with the enrollment/regular attendance), duration, and to help support their families, which can prevent
majority of those programs (n = 37; 23% of the total) timing (i.e., summer, after-school, and weekends). them from enrolling or staying in OST programs.
reporting between 10-19 youth participants. At the


“In so many ways, [their experience with DMTT] makes them leaders and educators in
their own right. Taking the knowledge and experience that they have and imparting it
to others, and story after story after story of them wanting to show off the knowledge
that they have gained.”
—David Lane, Program Leader

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago – TechGYRLS

Building Girls’ Confidence in STEAM through DMTT Use

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is that TechGYRLS is also about giving

S IT E S TORY the oldest and largest women’s girls confidence and options—“it was
organization in the Chicagoland really all about empowering them

TechGYRLS region. As an organization, it

focuses on empowering women and
to know that they can do it [DMTT/
STEAM], if they wanted. That it was
eliminating racism. The TechGYRLS not off-limits to them. That it was
program carries out this mission totally possible for them to go into
by empowering 9-14 year old this field, if they so choose. Because
girls, and fostering their interest in they were capable, and they were
science, technology, engineering, powerful, and they were smart.”
mathematics, and the arts (STEAM)
through exposure to and interaction With STEAM and female
with digital media tools and empowerment at the forefront of
technology (DMTT). For the last five the program, DMTT is truly its heart.
years, the program has provided All programming sessions involve
girls with opportunities to engage in the use of DMTT, and TechGYRLS
critical thinking, problem-solving, and prides itself on providing its
creative learning using DMTT, helping participants with access to the most
them to become less intimidated up-to-date DMTT, including CAD
by the tools and technology, and software, robotics, video production
hopefully, to see themselves in future hardware/software, and computers,
STEAM careers. The program aims to among other types of DMTT.
increase interest in STEAM careers,
yet program leader David Lane notes

The use of DMTT brings with it a videos through this medium of Adobe “We had the virtual reality hooked
number of benefits, according to the After Effects…so you had animation, onto drones so we could see where
program leaders and the TechGYRLS. and you had visual effects all going the drones are going but we can’t
Not the least of these are the together with music, and then these see where the drone is, but we

technical knowledge and skills the ideas just come through about them, see from the point of view of the
drone. First person view – like
girls gain. In one experience, for and their hopes, and their dreams,
when they be sending drones
example, David recounted “you’ve and their plans, and their passions. It
to space and stuff like that.”
got so many different concepts was amazing. It was really amazing.”
—Kendall (pseudonym),
all rolled into one. Because they
13 years old
had to learn aeronautics concepts, Hopes for the program for the
robotics concepts, electrical future are that it will continue
concepts. You had coding in the to grow and expand, in greater
mix. How the different sensors all depth, into new curriculum areas,
worked together in order for the simultaneously with advances
“And so our idea with the Chicago
“I came anyway because I
Mentors encourage the girls to applications to allow the girls to gain drone to actually fly. So it was just in DMTT. The girls expressed
Architecture Foundation was
wanted to learn coding.” try working with different types of more information or learn something really very comprehensive.” In last interest in doing “outside nature- to get the girls thinking about
—Danielle (pseudonym), DMTT that they may be less familiar new. The girls will work together, with year’s program, the girls used Adobe type science” during the summer architecture in that way, which
12 years old with, and the program activities are one group member designing the AR After Effects to design digital vision months as well as learning how to is not necessarily just an artistic
designed to have the girls collaborate marker and her partner responsible boards. They incorporated material do computer coding. Regardless endeavor, but also a technological
in their DMTT use. While the adult for creating the application that will about their current lives, and how of the particular topics they cover, one and an engineering one, and
mentors help motivate the girls and be used to interact with it. In the they viewed themselves 5, 10, 15, TechGYRLS will continue to be a design.”
keep them focused, the program science portion of the program, and 20 years into the future, as place where girls are empowered —David Lane, Program Leader
is meant to be “driven by the girls,” the girls will work with the National well as their hopes and dreams in to explore with DMTT, where they
with them leading the activities that Aeronautics and Space Administration each one of these time periods. can gain confidence in STEAM
“We try and have as many
are broken down into different parts, (NASA) to use satellite imagery data David described this activity as a subjects, and where they can see
females [mentors] as
each with their own milestone to be to study the clouds and atmosphere great success from more than just a themselves as just as knowledgeable
possible so that they [the
achieved. The program is also as to learn how cloud systems impact technical standpoint: “seeing their and capable of having a STEAM—
girls] can identify with them.
“drop-in friendly as possible” with weather patterns. The mathematics final projects, seeing them just or any—career as anyone else.
They can talk to them in
ways that they can’t talk to the understanding that the girls and engineering components of the pouring themselves out in these
me, and that’s just real.” may be involved in other activities program will be competition based;
—David Lane, that make it difficult for the girls to during the engineering portion, the
Program Leader attend the program every Saturday. girls will compete in a bridge-building
contest using K’NEX ©, whereas, in
This year’s program strives to “expose the math session, they will participate
[the girls] to as many concepts as in “Math Bonanzarama” where all
possible,” including program sessions activities will incorporate a math
focusing on each of the five STEAM challenge and require the girls to
content areas. The program session solve a math-related problem before
emphasizing technology will focus advancing in the game. Finally,
on augmented reality (AR) and virtual TechGYRLS will be collaborating with
reality (VR). Working in pairs, the the Chicago Architecture Foundation
girls will design a “virtual world” that to design a new community library
will include AR markers that can be in the arts portion of the program.
accessed from different mobile/web


Advice from
program leaders:
supports and • Programs that use DMTT face

ways to address particular challenges, but also have

unique supports at their disposal.

challenges • While DMTT technical knowledge is

important, enthusiasm for the tools and
technology is also key. Leaders can learn
how to use DMTT, even while leading
“Actually, weirdly….not weirdly, I think that what supports the program, from youth themselves.
[the program] the best is actually the students, and the
students’ interest in new and emerging developments in • Programs may need to address stereotypes
technology.” about who does or can use DMTT.

—SCALE: North Grand VIDEO, Chicago Arts Partnerships in • Organizational support from decision-makers
Education is key, but support at various levels of an
organization can also help programs thrive.

• Peer communities and other informal

learning opportunities can benefit
he work of conducting youth programming, program leaders and staff.
while important and gratifying, is not easy work;
• Find local advocates. These can include not
it comes with an assortment of challenges,
only funders and other OST groups, but also
and program leaders rely on key supports in order
parents and community members as well.
to succeed. This is true of all youth programs, but
those that use DMTT face particular challenges, and • When asked to give advice to others
anticipating them and knowing how to take advantage interested in creating similar youth
of supports is essential. Program leaders give advice programming experiences, program
about these challenges and supports in this section. leaders emphasized the importance of
keeping youth at the forefront of efforts.


Scarcity of resources is part of the landscape; program Program facilitators need
leaders have to be creative and nimble to put aside hesitation and
get comfortable with DMTT,
As with many youth-serving efforts in Chicago we can continue to run.” The Mikva Challenge City
and beyond, financial and material resources are Wide Youth Advisory Councils program leader
or with learning about
a challenge. Some programs are faced with an described their approach to “making it work,” saying: them alongside youth
“inability to access more hardware, like computers
and cameras, leaving them wondering “how much “We don’t have a lot of resources with DMTT. For some program facilitators, “there’s a
more [youth] could do if they actually had some So we have to become scrappy with what we learning curve when it comes to digital
new, cutting-edge devices.” The MAPSCorps do [have]. You know, we have to figure out technology,” and they need to embrace
program leader spoke about having the tools—in how one person can use [something] for two the process and take on the role of being
this case mobile devices—for youth to do initial hours, and then we’re gonna film for another life-long learners themselves. Taking on
data collection, but not enough of those tools hour, then we’re gonna come digitize, and edit this mindset is not always easy; therefore
it and put it all together, and just share with training and support in DMTT use for program
readily available for data analysis, saying, “we’re
the resources that we have here.” facilitators, within or outside the organization,
a non-profit so we always have to find ways to…
make sure that we’re getting the resources so that is important. On the other hand, facilitators
do not need to know everything. Indeed, as
the TechGYRLS program leader advised, it
may be more important that facilitators “be as
passionate as possible about technology”—
that enthusiasm will transfer to inspire youth.
The leader of the Inferno Mobile Recording Studio program
This idea of facilitators’ attitudes being as suggests to facilitators to “give yourself time to play and
important as their technical knowledge came learn the tech before you teach the tech.” And when
up across programs using all different types needed, program facilitators can sometimes look to their
of DMTT. Especially in programs that use own youth participants to help. As the Mikva Challenge
multiple types of DMTT, it may not be possible City Wide Youth Advisory Councils leader explained:
for the adults in the room to know everything.
For example, the Adler Planetarium’s Team “We don’t have someone who specializes in audio. Who
don’t have somebody who specializes in photos either.
Stratonauts leader described supporting
We don’t have somebody that specializes in videos… we
students using multiple types of DMTT in the
all have different skills, and then… hopefully, by luck or
program, and the fact that problems that come
by intention we identify a young person who already is
up with one type of DMTT are often different
skilled in this.”
from those that emerge with others. The
facilitator does not have to know everything
about all types of technologies, but should be,
as the leader of the Chicago Arts Partnership
in Education program said, “adventurous”
and ready to step-in and provide whatever
guidance they can to young people.


It is also important for program leaders to think to learn and take away from the program. A program
Organizational support is critical
about the best uses of DMTT for supporting learning leader at the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s
and meeting goals in their particular program. The advised leaders to consider for programs with DMTT that
Anti-Cruelty Society After School Advocates leader why and how DMTT can support their program and
operate within larger contexts
explained that program leaders need to think carefully overall organizational goals, saying, “What [are] the
about the types of DMTT students are currently using, affordances that this digital tool is giving you for your
Program leaders spoke enthusiastically about the
what is most appealing to them, and then “figure out program? Does it align with your program goals?
importance of internal organizational support for
a way to make [it] work” for what they want students Does it align with who you are as an organization?”
their programs. At the most fundamental level,
the programs needed, and had, organizational
commitment. “We wouldn’t have been able to
Acknowledge and be prepared to address even do this program if we didn’t have [that]
stereotypes support,” leaders at the Anti-Cruelty Society’s After
School Advocates shared. Mikva Challenge City
There are many persistent stereotypes about who head on. In conversations with parents and guardians,
Wide Youth Advisory Councils leaders described
does or should engage with DMTT, especially more the leader explains, “so many of them tell me, ‘Well,
being told by decision-makers, “you don’t have
advanced and specialized types of DMTT. These girls aren’t really into technology like that. Where’s
any boundaries, be innovative…Just dream big.”
enduring stereotypes can be particularly difficult to your program for boys?’” Challenges are also present
Support within an organization may also be found
challenge when the perceptions of the adults closest at the school level, because “society in general is
in other places. Volunteers, for example, “help
to youth align with such views. For example, in the totally biased against girls in technology, and the
fill in the gaps” at the Adler Planetarium’s Team
YWCA’s TechGYRLS program, which focuses on schools are like, ‘We’ve got these cheerleading
Stratonauts program. At another organization,
developing girls’ DMTT skills in the hope that program programs. Come on Saturday for cheerleading.’ And
the program benefits from other staff who
participants pursue STEAM careers, the program I’m like, ‘No, we got TechGYRLS on Saturday.’”
“bring all this educational leadership [that has
leader has needed to address gender stereotypes
helped] not only in our curriculum construction,
but [also] how prepared our instructors are.”

Informal learning opportunities and peer communities

Take -Aways enhance programs and nourish program leaders
Program leaders spoke about the A Chicago Architecture Foundation
• Take time to learn DMTT to ways that informal learning and program leader
“[The] learning communities that
we’re a part of…having access to all
successfully support youth community groups provided them spoke about how the “learning of that collaborative kind of thought
learning. with important growth and networking communities that we’re a part of… power…it’s been really great to be
opportunities that supported their [and] having access to all of that part of the community in Chicago…
• Be as passionate as possible
work. For example, an Anti-Cruelty collaborative kind of thought power” is that really is thinking critically and
about DMTT. Society After School Advocates leader an asset that helps him figure out the thinking collaboratively when it comes
explained that partnerships with program direction and focus. Other to the kinds of work that we’re all
• Be clear about why you are using
“communities and schools that offer leaders spoke about how seeing involved in.”
DMTT and how it will help meet —, Chicago
pretty much year-round workshops what other community programs are
program goals. for informal educators” allow them doing helps their programs improve.
Architecture Foundation

to continue to learn and “to create As one explained, “there are always
impactful programming for youth.” organizations that I’m learning [from].”


Local communities are
important advocates and
supports for programs
Some programs described the benefits of
early support from others in Chicago. While
some referred to funding, particularly from the
Hive Chicago Fund for Connected Learning
at The Chicago Community Trust and the
Hive Chicago Learning Network at the Mozilla
Foundation (now at the Chicago Learning
Exchange), they also recognized the benefits
that came from partnerships with local schools
or organizations and having others advocate Ladies of Virtue (LOV) is a mentoring
for the importance of their programs. In some and leadership organization that aims to
cases, program leaders found that community empower girls to be confident leaders
members were excited about the programs who are prepared for college, careers,
and really “wanted to give back to young
and can be leaders in their communities.
people” through sharing expertise and skills.
LOV is seven years old and serves 150
One Anti-Cruelty Society After School girls. LOV’s Project Lab program includes
Advocates leader spoke about the benefit college and career preparation as well as a
of awareness of the program within the team project focused on a topic—ranging
community, and how it helps keep a steady from black history to homelessness to teen
flow of interested participants and other pregnancy—that is interesting to the girls.
external supports. This support, in turn, With mentorship and support from the
enables them to keep providing opportunities Awareness and support from Project Management Institute, they develop
for youth. Other leaders described the families can be important as well a marketing awareness campaign, create
value of sharing program products with the
videos, and share their ideas and messages
community in order to raise visibility of the The YWCA’s TechGYRLS leader also advised
work being done. The program leader of
over social media. LOV’s founder explains, “I
other program leaders to “as much as you can,
Inferno Mobile Recording Studio suggested wanted to have a true hands-on component
communicate with parents.” Given that they have “so
that leaders consider “what you want to do of not just showing them what leadership
many other things that they have to deal with and
with the output [from the program],” and how is or telling them what leadership is, but
worry about,” they may not be aware of what youth
to share the work with others. “If you don’t actually having them practice it and… do it.”
are doing in these programs, but if kept engaged
take the work and process it and post it
and informed, parents and guardians can also
somewhere, then nobody knows about it.”
act as program advocates, and can reinforce and
validate what youth learn in the programs at home.


1. Design the program to embrace the student 6. Be ready for and welcome creativity.
voice. Make the program “student led and “A lot of times, young people who don’t have
student driven,” where the youth are doing access a lot to these tools are more creative
the work “with adults supporting their than people who have grown up around
vision.” (Project Lab, Ladies of Virtue) them… that imagination and wonder grows a
lot when you don’t have those things always
2. Offer multiple entry points. Make sure the at your disposal, so once you do get a hold
program is structured so that youth less of something like an iPad with recording
experienced with DMTT can “start small,” capabilities…then you’ll do a lot more strange
whereas those more familiar can “take it and interesting things with it.” (Inferno Mobile
to that next level pretty quickly.” Plan for Recording Studio, Chicago Park District)
appropriate scaffolding so that “everyone can
be engaged.” (MAPSCorps, MAPSCorps) 7. Encourage youth experimentation with DMTT.
Create a program that provides youth with
3. Give youth choices. Present youth with the encouragement and support to try new
different options for engaging in the program, things. “Make sure they try it. Like really try
as “one set path isn’t always the right option it. They don’t have to like it or love it or do it
for every single student involved.” Consider forever, but they have to at least give it a fair
ways to offer “freedom of choice, but not too shot so that they know that they’ve done it.”
much that it is paralyzing…find structured (TechGYRLS, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago)
entry points that can lead them to choice” so
they are ultimately “choosing their own path.” 8. Invest in people who can connect with
(Team Stratonauts, Adler Planetarium) youth. Program facilitators must be skilled at
making meaningful connections with youth.
4. Communicate expectations. “Provide an “Investing in people has been the most
overall vision for what’s expected [from valuable tool, because when you invest in
youth]” so that it is clear to all involved what your people, they connect with your young
youth will be doing with DMTT, and how that people, and you have a more successful
Put youth front and center supports the overall program goals. (After program.” (The Journey to My Better Self Media
School Advocates, Anti-Cruelty Society) Empowerment Program, The LUV Institute)
When asked to give advice to others, program leaders regularly
spoke about the importance of always keeping youth at the 5. Don’t make assumptions about youth 9. Be consistent: Show up and support youth.
forefront of decision making. While this point may seem obvious experiences with DMTT. You “might assume “It’s not just as simple as putting them in a room
as these are youth-serving programs, their advice reflects a that someone of a certain age is really good with a bunch of computers…There is nothing
commitment to the emerging hallmarks of DMTT programs: 1) at a certain tool… Or you might assume that worse, especially to a young person who
engaging youth; 2) experiential learning; 3) collaboration with someone of a certain age doesn’t understand might not be as confident, to go to somebody,
peers; 4) youth-initiated experiences; and 5) adults serving as a certain tool.” Youth have not all had the same put their trust and hope in them, form a
mentors and guides. Together, the words of these program experiences with DMTT so it is important to relationship with them, and then two weeks
leaders offer a primer for creating DMTT programs that will enable not generalize about prior DMTT experience or later, never see them again.” Find facilitators
youth to engage on their own terms, express themselves, and understanding “based on just age.” (MAPSCorps, who will make a commitment to the youth;
learn skills and lessons that they can use for years to come. MAPSCorps) consistent presence and support is critical.
(TechGYRLS, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago)


Although many of the young men community, and that their options to Darius, attend the program and
involved in the program idolize for engaging in other after-school engage with the young men to
current hard-court superstars, programs, aside from sports create fellowship. Chasing23 is not
LeBron James, Steph Curry, James like basketball and football, are only about listening to and learning
Harden, and Russell Westbrook, limited. Chasing23 provides a from the mentors, though; it takes
participating in this program space where they learn that it is the relationship a step further by
helps them “chase Jordan,” and okay to be themselves, that you incorporating youth voice so that
emulate his grit, perseverance, have to respect others, and that all perspectives, regardless of
and determination in their own “your current situation is not your age, can be heard. Offering these
SITE STORY lives. Through Chasing23’s final destination.” The impact can opportunities to the young men
programming, young men of be profound. As one young man gives them a voice, autonomy,

Chasing23 color have the opportunity to

take ownership in an organization
said, “[before] I was failing all of
my classes. Basically, I made a
and a sense of equity. It allows the
program to truly be “youth-led,”
Chasing23 Youth Empowerment whose mission is to provide whole turn around after hearing helping to build their confidence,

Group - Restoring Hope and support as they pursue, achieve,

and surpass their goals.
what he [Darius] had to say.” creativity, teamwork, and learning,
while at the same time promoting
Giving Direction Program To achieve its goals, Chasing23 Chasing23 as a safe-space where
Youth are attracted to participate focuses on forging and developing they can express themselves.
Mastering the Art of Mentoring in Chasing23 because of its relationships between youth and
charismatic leader, who is often adult mentors. Group mentoring

quick to shift the focus from involves young men coming
“I think everyone has to search their ounder and CEO Darius Ballinger describes his
himself to the group—always together and engaging with older
own soul. If we wait on our president, organization, Chasing23, as “…a brotherhood, it’s a
“we” not “he.” These young “folks from all walks of life” who are
if we wait on our elected officials, if movement.” The program aims to improve the quality
men describe Darius as a role interested in “living through their
we wait on our business person, if we of life for young men residing in Chicago’s South Side
model, an older brother, a leader, truths” to share life lessons and
wait on the senior citizen or the young neighborhoods, and to involve them in a community that
person in our community to be better someone to look up to, and an to give back to young people. At
strives to leave the world a better place than they found it.
for us, we do ourselves a disservice by inspiration. They explain that every Restoring Hope and Giving
After overcoming personal tragedy and the loss of his own
not being better for our ourselves.” they enjoy being in the program Direction Monday Meetup, at least
mentor, Darius created Chasing23 in the spirit of Chicago
—Darius Ballinger, Program Leader because they are able to build two to three volunteer mentors,
Bulls basketball legend Michael Jordan—known for his
a bond, like a family, with other oftentimes individuals with a
iconic #23 jersey—with the goal of “chasing greatness.”
young men in their schools and personal or professional connection


During one “Monday Meetup,” the to.” when describing why he attends
younger and older men worked Chasing23 meetings every week.
together to brainstorm the “Group
Vision.” Youth and mentors were asked The program uses digital media tools
to identify a series of “buzz words” and technology (DMTT) primarily to
that come to mind when describing reinforce to youth that they can be
Chasing23, and then to define how “creators,” and to promote teamwork
these words are enacted, or should be and collaboration. Darius noted
enacted, in the program. After working that the program makes use of
together in small groups, the youth and whatever DMTT they have at their
mentors came together to share how disposal, much of which is made
they feel the organization can strike available through the digital media
a balance between being a “strict ‘do lab at Wendell Phillips High School.
this, do that’” environment, similar Although the program is still in its
to what youth voiced experiencing early years, youth used DMTT for
throughout the school day, and a fun, a variety of projects. For example,
social, yet productive after-school youth in the program used DMTT to
space empowering young men to create the organization’s logo and
“This right here, what we have navigate different life obstacles and t-shirts for all members, and during
here is brotherhood. I think of holding them accountable for their the organization’s first year, the
Darius as an older brother. He’s actions. This discussion evolved into young men were also in-charge of
like a brother to me. When I come an open forum where youth voiced video production and editing footage
here though, Darius to me is concerns about their futures—both in captured at a three-on-three basketball Video production and photography recruit young men and mentors to
“Two of the young men helped out
someone you can look up to. His
academics and employment. Mentors, tournament that Chasing23 sponsored. editing software were used to create champion the mission of Chasing23.
past – ain’t no one you want to with the cameras. So they filmed
including Darius, emphasized the a highlight video of the top moments
be. The fact that he ain’t give up the actual event, and they got
from the tournament, and social Darius talked about Chasing23’s future
need to dedicate time to academics, to learn about filming, and then
and he’s still trying to become with his characteristic enthusiasm and
and that the young men should media, particularly Facebook and also, they worked with the mentor
something. He’s someone who will
Instagram, were used in a social excitement. He plans to increase the
stand up for you. That’s inspiration consider a variety of career pathways that was a part of the program
media campaign to broadcast not level of engagement with the young
to me there. He just – he’s an in addition to being professional last year to do a soft course of film
only the highlight reel that was men as well as with stakeholders in editing and what that looked like to
inspiration. He’s like a brother athletes or in the entertainment
created, but also information about the community and local universities navigate a film editing software.”
at the same time, because he’ll industry. These conversations were
the tournament, with the community. in Chicago. The Restoring Hope and —Darius Ballinger,Program Leader
let us know no matter what the open, supportive, and grounded
situation is, he’ll be there for us. Exploring additional opportunities Giving Direction Monday Meetup
in the belief that the young men
He’ll still go out of the way for us, to provide youth with hands-on program, which began as an in-school
participating in the program have the
no matter what the situation is.” learning experiences with DMTT mentoring program at Wendell Phillips
potential to positively impact others in
—Chris (pseudonym), age 15 High School in Chicago’s Bronzeville
their communities, to, as Darius put it, is also an important next step in
Chasing23’s future goals. In the neighborhood, will continue to
“chase greatness.” It is not a surprise,
up-coming year, through the “South expand to provide employment and
then, that one young man, age 16,
Side Print Shop” Apprenticeship apprenticeship opportunities for
emphasized, “we don’t want to be out
Program, youth will fine-tune their young men during the summer and
in the streets like all these other boys.
screen-printing and design skills. after-school hours, empowering and
We’re trying to be like Darius. We
Darius also expects that social media inspiring them to “chase greatness.”
got something we’re looking forward
will continue to be leveraged to


Looking to the Future

his portrait of youth-serving DMTT programming in Chicago that must continue
programs in Chicago shows a to grow in order to reach all Chicago youth.
city with rich and diverse DMTT
experiences for its youth. Programs are DMTT are now part of daily life, but
flourishing throughout the city, providing acknowledging that idea and embracing
youth with opportunities to learn new it are two different things. While not
skills, explore new topics, engage with representing all of Chicago programming,
others, and express themselves. However, this report offers a baseline for
these findings represent only a piece of understanding the who, where, what, and
the larger story of DMTT experiences how of the role DMTT is playing in the
in OST youth programming in the City lives of young people during OST program
of Chicago. The work is not done. experiences. Looking ahead, unanswered
questions remain: How can DMTT programs
While OST programming with DMTT better complement what youth learn
is reaching youth, and reaching youth in schools to help their 24/7 learning
who are traditionally underserved or not experience be more coherent? What parts
included in conversations about who “does” of DMTT programs are essential for learning
technology, many young people are not and which can be adapted or dropped as
yet involved. Researchers, practitioners, contexts and conditions evolve? How can
families, funders, and the City at large must DMTT program leaders best reach youth
continue to work together to close equity populations who are not yet engaged?
gaps in order to provide all youth with What are the best ways to use particular
access to high-quality OST programming types of DMTT for different populations?
and DMTT-related experiences. The diverse Can DMTT influence the choices youth
programs described in this report all make about their futures? These questions
share a commitment to serving youth and and others are important to consider in
generating opportunities for them to have future investigations, especially as DMTT
the knowledge, expertise, and experiences become more infused in the day-to-day
they need to excel in the 21st century. practices of youth-serving OST programs.
These programs are weaving DMTT into The answers will help organizations,
youth experiences so that young people funders, teachers, program leaders, and
can truly take advantage of the possibilities communities provide opportunities that
DMTT bring to communication, creation, will help Chicago’s diverse youth thrive in
learning, and advocacy. This is a promising their learning and flourish in their lives.
foundation for the future of youth OST

Appendix A

About Outlier Research & Evaluation

his study was conducted by Outlier Research & Evaluation at UChicago
STEM Education at the University of Chicago. UChicago STEM Education
is a Center devoted to improving K-adult education that resides in the
Physical Sciences Division (PSD) of the University. UChicago STEM Education’s
work is composed of three interconnected strands: Tool Development, School
Support Services, and Research and Evaluation. More information on the Center
can be found at

Outlier is the research and evaluation arm of UChicago STEM Education. Outlier is a
cross-disciplinary group committed to applied research and evaluation that directly
informs practitioners, education leaders, and policymakers. In addition to digital
media tools and technologies, Outlier’s research portfolio includes projects focused
on implementation, spread and sustainability of educational innovations, computer
science education, and STEM schools. Outlier’s evaluation work spans a range of
K to adult programs, including K-12 education programs in school districts, higher
education settings, museum-based and other out-of-school learning programs,
and adult learning and leadership programs. All of Outlier’s work reflects our belief
that efforts to improve education should be grounded in principled knowledge and
relevant to the contexts and conditions shaping educational settings today. For
more information on Outlier and current and past work, visit



About Chicago Learning Exchange

hicago Learning Exchange (CLX) is a Chicago-based nonprofit
organization that works with a growing community of more than 200
organizations to remake learning so that it is enhanced by technology,
driven by learners’ interests, and connected to future opportunities. CLX was
formed in 2018 when two initiatives—the Hive Chicago Learning Network at
The Mozilla Foundation and Hive Chicago Fund for Connected Learning at
The Chicago Community Trust—combined. Since 2009, these initiatives have
partnered to catalyze collaborative and innovative approaches to learner-
centered practices, platforms, credentials, and spaces across the city.

Technology is integral to the CLX DNA. CLX believes in the power of technology
to open up opportunity, democratize voice, and foster creation, while recognizing
that it alone is not enough to help young people flourish in the world. Educators,
mentors, peers, and family are critical in supporting young people alongside
technology as they pursue long-term success and lifelong learning.

CLX collaborates across sectors to ensure that youth who are most in need have
access to engaging opportunities that utilize technology as a tool for learning.
CLX networks educators, parents, technologists, employers, and researchers;
ignites innovation through grants; champions ways to remake learning; and equips
educators, youth, and families with the skills, knowledge, and insight necessary
to succeed in the digital age. Whether in school, out of school, or online, CLX
envisions Chicago as a connected community where all learning counts.

Appendix B Clear Language:
It was essential that the study accounted for the dynamic,
evolving field of digital media. Therefore, the design had to
avoid ill-defined terms and terms that had multiple meanings
to ensure that the findings would confidently and accurately
reflect the broad digital media landscape in Chicago’s OST
programs. One challenge came from the fact that some
terms used to refer to DMTT (e.g., digital media and learning,
connected learning) conflate descriptions of digital media
tools with particular pedagogical approaches. In order to
avoid misinterpretation and to ensure the accuracy of the
information collected, the questionnaire separated the digital
media themselves (i.e., the hardware, software, and other
tools) from the pedagogical expectations (e.g. program
goals and learning strategies) for DMTT experiences.

The study is intended to be a foundational framework for
future studies. The questionnaire had to be brief in order
to increase completion rates, while also collecting key
information that would be of interest now and in the future.

Study Methodology Additionally, questionnaire items needed to be designed to

allow for shifts in digital media use, such as the emergence
of new tools or prominent instructional approaches.
The study design was driven by three main principles:
1. Clear Language
Language used throughout the study had to be clear and consistent; Representative:
Outlier took careful steps to ensure that the data collected,
and the findings in the report, represent the range of
2. Replicable
programs reported on in the data set. These steps were
the study had to be replicable by others wishing to take a “snapshot”
taken so that youth development practitioners reading the
of DMTT landscapes (in Chicago or elsewhere) in the future; and report would be able to see organizations and programs like
their own represented in the results presented. The program
3. Representative landscape is rich and diverse, and although this report
it had to be representative of the wide range of out-of-school draws from relatively small portion of programs in Chicago,
time (OST) programs offered to youth the City of Chicago. every effort was made to communicate that diversity.


The data sources used to create this report included:
With input from the same Hive Fund staff, face of it, serve youth in Chicago), universities,
Outlier assembled a list of organizations public and private schools, hospitals and medical
1. A questionnaire for organizations that serve Chicago; with a connection to Chicago and potentially centers, and theater and dance programs (that
serving youth. This list included contacts did not otherwise demonstrate that they had a
2. Interviews with program leaders facilitators at 12 organizations; and from the Chicago Community Trust, as well as youth-serving program that fit the criteria). If, in
organizations connected to After School Matters the information provided to Outlier, there was
3. Site visits to 5 programs that included additional interviews, a
(an organization that provides after-school and some indication that the organization did in fact
youth focus group, and observations of the program in action. summer program opportunities for teens), the provide some type of youth programming, that
Digital Youth Network, the city’s Department of organization was included. For any organization
Family Support Services, the Chicago Housing with only minimal information included in the
Each is described in more detail below. Authority, and Get IN Chicago. This resulted list about their core purpose or population
in a list of nearly 20,000 organizations. served, Outlier searched their website and
employed a “2-click” rule: if sufficient information
In order to identify a subset of the most was not identified through a search of their
appropriate organizations to receive the website within 2 clicks, the organization was
Questionnaire: Organizations Providing questionnaire, Outlier created a set of guidelines excluded from the sample. This process
to determine which organizations should be resulted in a list of 787 organizations that were
Youth Programming for Chicago contacted. These rules allowed Outlier to invited to participate in the questionnaire.
exclude organizations that, for example, were
Outlier, with input from the staff at the Hive Chicago that involved DMTT use stopped providing
located outside of Illinois (and did not, on the
Fund for Connected Learning at The Chicago answers to the questionnaire items at this point.
Community Trust (now at the Chicago Learning
Exchange), developed an online questionnaire Next, respondents provided details about
to administer to organizations that provide OST their selected program, including its duration
programming for Chicago youth between the ages and structure (e.g., when the program occurs,
of 13 and 24 years. The aim of the questionnaire duration of each session, fee-structure), the youth The questionnaire was administered between these were handled on a case-by-case basis
was to ascertain whether these organizations participants (e.g., quantity, age, racial/ethnic/gender November 13, 2018 and January 19, 2018. Outlier to eliminate one of the two responses.
offered youth programs that use DMTT, and if so, identities), use of DMTT in the program, program sent an initial link to the online questionnaire,
goals, learning strategies, and evaluation practices. as well as follow-up emails in November Of the 246 organizations, 219 organizations
how DMTT was involved in program experiences.
Before completing the questionnaire, respondents 2017, mid-December 2017, and early January reported offering at least one program for
It included items about the organization and their
who reported on a program with DMTT were asked 2018. Several of the organizations who had youth in the City of Chicago, and 175 of these
general youth program offerings before moving
about their willingness to participate in an interview provided organization lists contacted their organizations reported that at least one of their
to program-specific questions about their use
about that program, as well as a follow-up site visit. partner organizations directly during this time programs incorporated DMTT. As with any
of DMTT and the youth participants they serve.
All organizations (with and without programs that period to remind them about completing the questionnaire administration, some respondents
Respondents who indicated that their organization
use DMTT) completing the questionnaire were questionnaire. Of the 787 organizations who did not answer all questions, which resulted
had at least one youth program with DMTT were
eligible to receive one of six $50 store cards for were sent the questionnaire link, 246 (31%) in missing data for some questionnaire items.
then asked to identify one in-person, OST program
their program, to thank them for participation. completed the questionnaire and provided All results included in this report reflect the
that they felt best incorporated DMTT into youth
usable data. There were a few cases of data available for each questionnaire item.
learning experiences and was offered during
the summer 2017 or 2017–2018 academic year. multiple responses from organizations, and
Organizations that did not offer youth programming


Site Visits (Interviews, Youth Focus Group,
Observation, Student Artifact Collection)
In March–May 2018, Outlier completed site visits with on understanding the importance of programming
five programs selected from those interviewed. The utilizing DMTT to the organization’s broader goals.
site visits focused on understanding the context of the Student focus groups investigated youth experiences
programs’ questionnaire and interview data, seeing in the program, use of DMTT in and outside of the
the programs in action, and having an opportunity program, learning goals, plans for future use of
to talk with a wider range of program stakeholders, DMTT, and general background questions. Finally,
such as youth participants and organizational leaders. program observations were conducted with an open-
These visits were designed to include observation ended protocol to capture how students and adults
of one program session, two to three interviews interacted, the types of program activities and use
with organizational and program leaders/facilitators, of DMTT, and student engagement in the program
and one youth focus group (with four to six youth), overall. During program leader/facilitator interviews
and lasted, on average, 3 hours. Site visits served and site visits, interviewees were given the opportunity
as the basis for this report’s series of “site stories.” to share examples of student work or artifacts to
demonstrate how DMTT was used to support the
Program Leader/Facilitator Interviews The additional program facilitator/leader interviews organization’s primary program topics and goals.
Outlier conducted interviews with 12 leaders areas related to the organization and the extent addressed the same areas as the initial program
or facilitators of programs that incorporate to which programs with DMTT contribute to leader interviews. Organizational leader interviews
DMTT (see Appendix Figure C22). These the organization’s broader goals, as well as covered these same areas, with additional focus
interviews were conducted in February and questions about the specific program described
March 2018, and focused on gathering in-depth in the questionnaire, including its goals,
information about the programs reported on learning strategies, and the use of DMTT.
in their questionnaires. Interviews covered

THE SAMPLE: Programs participating in site visits were

selected from the sample of 12 organizations
Ninety-two organizations indicated on the were categorized into groups that represented where program leaders/facilitators were
questionnaire that they would be willing to the distribution of goals and learning strategies interviewed. Of those 12, six did not have
participate in an interview about their program across the entire questionnaire population. programs to observe in the spring, so they
with DMTT. From this list, 12 organizations were Then, within these parameters, Outlier used a were excluded from consideration. Five
selected through a carefully structured process random number generator process to select 12 programs were selected from the remaining
that aimed to identify a group of programs organizations to invite to participate in interviews. six, based on program focus, participants,
representative of respondents in the entire Of the original 12 organizations selected, four were DMTT use, and program responsiveness.
questionnaire sample (all of the 175 organizations eventually replaced due to lack of responsiveness
reporting offering programs with DMTT). That is, to the interview request or because they
consideration was given to: 1) the role of DMTT in declined to participate. In each case, alternate
the program (i.e., DMTT as the primary focus, or organizations were selected through the same
as a support to a program topic); 2) the identified process used to identify the original invitees.
priority program goals; and 3) the digital media
learning strategies used in the program. Programs


Appendix C Additional Findings
C4. Number of DMTT programs selectingeach topic as program focus
Non-profit youth-serving organizations 138 59% Note. Organizations could select up to three program topics.

Community-based organizations 53 23% Civic Engagement 37

Job Preparation 29
Cultural institutions 23 10%
C1. Types of Performing Arts 23
organizations that
Visual Arts 23
responded to the Faith-based institutions 3 1%
questionnaire STEM 22

Private sector 1 <1% STEAM 21

Technology 21

Other 17 7% Video Production 18

Creative Writing 15

Design 14
0 - 5 years 29 17%
Entrepreneurship 14

6 - 10 years 20 11% Music Production 14

C2. Number of years
the organizations have Journalism 12
been in existence 11 - 15 years 24 14% Health 11

Science 11
16 - 20 years 21 12%
Engineering 9

Coding 8
21+ years 81 46%
Audio Production 7

Math 6

1-3 programs 68 31% Fitness 4

Marketing 3
4-6 programs 49 22%
TV 3
C3. Number of 7-9 programs 17 8% Architecture 3
programs offered by
the organizations Radio 2
10-12 programs 25 11%
Game Design 1
13-34 programs 35 16%
Culinary Art 1

35-49 programs 5 2% Other 45

50+ programs 20 9%


C5. Complete list of DMTT used (software and other) C7. Complete list of program goals
Note. Organizations could select as many types of software as were applicable. Note. Organizations could select up to three program goals.

Internet 96 Youth development and leadership 70 40%

Other Software 62
Social-emotional skill development 42 24%
Video Production/Editing Software 50
21st century skill development 41 23%
Photography Editing Software 42

Audio Production/Editing Software 31 Fostering youth creativity 39 22%

Website Development 24
Job preparation 36 21%
App Development 24
Civic engagement 36 21%
Programming Languages 19

Games 19 Familiarity/comfort with DMTT 30 17%

Website Design 16
Post-secondary readiness 30 17%
CADD Software 12
Youth as life-long learners 29 17%
Digital Animation 10

Academic enrichment 26 15%

Specific technology skill development 24 14%

C6. Complete list of “other” DMTT used by programs with DMTT
Note. Organizations could select as many types of “other” DMTT as were applicable.
Digital literacy 24 14%

Social Media 79
Learner empowerment 21 12%
Robotics 21
Other 12 7%
3D Printer/Laser Cutter 17

Collaboration Tool 17

Digital Electronics/Circuits 16

Digital Badging 9

Learning Platforms 9

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality 7

Other 5


C8. Complete list of learning strategies used by programs with DMTT C9. Drop-in vs regular attendance programs C10. Single session vs multiple session programs
Note. Organizations could select up to three learning strategies.

Learners are actively engaged 75 43% 9% Single Session

Participants collaborate 66 38%

Participants engage in creation and "making" 51 29%

80% 91%
Regular Attendance Multiple Session
Interest driven activities 35 21%

Participants share created content with community 34 19%

Learners move at their own pace 26 15%

Self-expression through digital media 25 14%

2 - 4 sessions 12 8%

Peer-supported learning 23 13% C11. Total number of sessions

5 - 7 sessions 7 5% over the course of programs
Relationship development 21 12%

8 - 10 sessions 23 15%
Focus on peer culture 19 11%

Technology-supported inquiry 17 10% 11 - 13 sessions 12 8%

Learner-style driven activities 9 5%

14+ sessions 95 64%

Learning uses openly networked resources 7 4%

Link learning to other program opportunities 6 3%

2 days - 1 week 4 3%

C12. Total duration of programs

Learning across contexts and settings 6 3% 2- 4 weeks 5 3%
Note. Only organizations that indicated
a program with multiple sessions
Other 2 1% 5 - 7 weeks 22 15% (n=149) were shown this question.

8 - 12 weeks/full semester 27 18%

Participants earn digital badges 1 <1%

3 - 5 months/one semester 14 9%

6 months - full school year 29 20%

Note. Only organizations that indicated a program

Full calendar year 48with 32%
multiple sessions (n=149) were shown this question.


0 full-time staff 27 17%
C13. When programs with DMTT take place
Note. Organizations could select as many program times as applied.
1 - 2 full-time staff 94 59%

3 - 4 full-time staff 20 12%

After school 111 63%
C16. Number of full-time
DMTT program staff
5 - 6 full-time staff 6 4%
Summer 103 59%

7 - 8 full-time staff 3 2%

Weekends 74 42%
9 - 10 full-time staff 2 1%

Before school 10 6% 11+ full-time staff 8 5%

Other 21 12%
0 part-time staff 35 22%

1 - 2 part-time staff 70 44%

3 - 4 part-time staff 20 13%

C17. Number of part-time
5 - 6 part-time staff 13 8% DMTT program staff

C14. Participant experience 7 - 8 part-time staff 4 3%

C15. Program fee structure
necessary for DMTT programs
9 - 10 part-time staff 7 4%

11+ part-time staff 10 6%

9% Some experience required

0 volunteers 40 25%
Participants receive a
stipend or payment 1 - 2 volunteers 38 24%
Program is free for
3 - 4 volunteers 25 16%
No experience necessary
5 - 6 volunteers 10 6%
C18. Number of DMTT
11% program volunteers
Participants 7 - 8 volunteers 6 4%
pay a fee

9 - 10 volunteers 5 3%

11+ volunteers 36 22%


C19. Organizations that
report having maker spaces C22. Organizations interviewed

No Maker Space

61 % Organization Location Program Focus (from list

Organization Name Program Name
Yes Maker Space (Chicago region) provided)

Adler Planetarium Team Stratonauts Central Design, engineering, STEM

Chasing23 Youth Restoring Hope and Journalism, marketing,
South Side
Empowerment Group Giving Direction entrepreneurship
Chicago Architecture Central Architecture, design, STEAM
Chicago Arts
SCALE: North Grand Visual arts, other - inquiry
Partnerships in Central
Video mindset
C20. Organizations that evaluate Video production, audio
Inferno Mobile
their program with DMTT Chicago Park District South Side production, civic
Recording Studio
23% engagement
No Evaluation Technology, civic
Ladies of Virtue Project Lab South Side engagement, job
preparation or placement
MAPSCorps MAPSCorps South Side STEM
77% City Wide Youth
Yes Evaluation Civic engagement, health,
Advisory Councils
Mikva Challenge Central job preparation or
(Juvenile Justice
The Anti-Cruelty After School Science, civic engagement,
Society Advocates other – animal welfare
The Journey to My
Journalism, video
The Love, Unity & Better Self Media
South Side production, job preparation
Values (LUV) Institute Empowerment
or placement
C21. Interest in future DMTT use by
Collegiate Scholars Civic engagement, STEAM,
organizations that do not currently
University of Chicago Program South Side other – leadership
have programs that use DMTT
18% (Podcasting Class) development
Not interested YWCA Metropolitan STEAM, other -
TechGYRLS South Side
Chicago empowerment



Appendix D
Chicago Park District, Inferno Mobile Recording Elijah’s House, Urban Teen Magazine

List of All Participating Organizations Studio

Empowerment through Education and Exposure,
(who agreed to have their names listed) Chicago Public Library, YOUmedia EEEmation

Chicago Run, Running Mates En Las Tablas Performing Arts

The following list includes the organizations who participated in the questionnaire and agreed
to have their name listed in the report. Organizations are listed in alphabetical order, followed, Chicago Scholars Foundation, Launch Program Erie Neighborhood House, Visionaries
where applicable, by the name of the program with DMTT on which they reported. Chicago Summer Business Institute, Summer Facets, Documentary Film Lab
Internship Program
Facets, Film 101
826CHI, Animation Station Business and Career Services, Manufacturing Chicago Youth Centers, Photography/ I Am We,
Family Matters, Community Tutoring
Career Internship Program Photograph and Video program
About Face Youth Theatre
Field Museum ASM H2O Games, H2OGames
Center on Halsted, Youth Leadership Academy Chicago Youth Shakespeare, The Chicago
Adler Planetarium, Team Stratonaut Youth Shakespeare Ensemble Focus on Tomorrow, Video Production
Centers for New Horizons, One Summer
After School Matters, Chicago Chicago Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Forest Preserve Foundation
Opera Theater Senn High School Pathways to Pipelines - STEM Intern Program
Chasing23 Youth Empowerment Group, Forest Preserve of Cook County, Youth Outdoor
After School Matters, Restoring Hope and Giving Direction CircEsteem Ambassador
Colored Girls are Cover Girls
CHI-RISE, CHI-RISE Media Program Civic Leadership Foundation FOUS Youth Development Services
Alternative Schools Network, Alternabots
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert CodeCreate Technology Education, My Family in Free Spirit Media, Free Spirit Media News South
Alternatives Inc., Girl World Nature Museum, Nature Museum TEENS Motion: Stop Motion Studio Workshop
Free Street Theater, Tech for Students with
ARK of St. Sabina, Journalism Chicago Architecture Foundation, Teen Fellows CodeNow, CodeNow Immersive Program
Art Therapy Connection, NFP, Art Therapy Chicago Architecture Foundation, CoderSpace, CoderSpace Summer Apprenticeship
Free Write Arts & Literacy, Free Write Sound &
Connection After-School Art Therapy Program
Columbia College Chicago | Scientists for Vision
Artifice NFP, @rtifice Chicago Area Project, Youth Mentoring Tomorrow, Junior Research Scientists
Friends of the Forest Preserves
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Training & Employment
Community Film Workshop of Chicago,
ASCEND Mentoring Program Youth In Motion Future Ties, NFP, Future Ties Summer Mentoring
Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA)
Automotive Mentoring Group (AMG) Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, SCALE: Contexture Media Network, Creative Tech Expo
Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, Urban Roots
Back of the Yards Neighborhood North Grand Video
Dancing with Class
Council, After School Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, Gary Comer Youth Center, First Lego League
David L. Hoyt Education Foundation
Beverly Arts Center, Teen Artist Mentorship: Supporting Communities through
Girls Like Me Project, D.I.V.A.S (Digitally
Film focus Arts Learning Environments Divine Purpose Youth Performing Arts Center,
Innovative Voices of Advocacy Sisters)
Media Arts
Big Shoulders Fund, Girls Who Code Chicago Botanic Garden, College First
Girls Rock! Chicago, Girls Rock!
DMI Information Processing Center, Inc.,
Bishop Shepard Little Memorial Chicago Design Museum, Hey! Make! Creating Chicago Summer Camp
Youth Can, Youth Can After School
Center, Computer Literacy Game Controllers from Everyday Objects
Global Girls, Inc.
DuSable Museum of African American History,
Borderbend Arts Collective, Multi-Arts Chicago Filmmakers, Teen Digital Filmmaking
Will To Adorn
Bootcamp Global Glimpse, Global Glimpse
Program at Oakley Square
East Village Youth Program, College-Bound
Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Film-making Chicago Freedom School, Freedom Fellowship
Career Exploration


Grand Boulevard Prevention Services, Youth Talk Major Adams Community Committee, Proyecto Juventud Mujeres Latinas en Accion, The Mary L. Greenwood Community Center,
Computer Tech Green Technology Electromechanical Sight and Sound
Holy Family School, Robotics Automation Engineering and Coding
MAPSCorps, MAPSCorps The Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club,
Hyde Park Art Center, Teen Photo Studio Public Media Institute, Wattz Up! Summer Camp
Marwen, Render to Blender (3D design course)
Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, After School Pui Tak Center, Lego Robotics The People’s Music School, Uptown Academy
Program Math Circles of Chicago, Kovalevsky
ReCondition Community Cooperative, The Student Conservation Association,
Metro Vision Partners, NFP, Girls on the Go
iGrow Chicago, Survive to Thrive Learning to Lead Summer Park District Community
Mikva Challenge, City Wide Youth Advisory ConservationCrew
i.c.stars, Technology, Leadership Saint Anthony Hospital, Adolescents
and Business Bootcamp and Parents Educating Themselves The WasteShed
Musical Arts Institute, Community Beginners
Illinois Council Against Handgun Saving Lives, Inspiring Youth, Love Your True Star Foundation
Piano Class
Violence, Student Voices Activist Institute Love Life
University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars
Near North Development Corporation,
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Shine On, Chicago!, Neighborhood Photo Program, Podcasting Class
Upward Bound
Center, Take A Stand Center Safari Summer Program
UpBeat Music and Arts, UpBeat Music and Arts
NeuroKitchen Arts Collective, NeuroKitchen
IMPACT Family Center, Digital Media Exploration/ Smart Museum
Performance Ensemble Urban Alliance, High School Internship Program
Creative Digital Media (updated name)
South Shore Drill Team & Performing Arts
New Moms, Job Training Urban Habitat Chicago, Green LUNGS
Institute for Positive Living, Development Ensemble, Performing Arts
of a video using computer animation Options for Youth, Mayor’s Mentoring What’s Valentine Boys & Girls Club of Chicago,
South Side Community Art Center, Teen
Up with Manhood? Digital Arts
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive Talk Theatre
and Outsider Art, IntuiTeens Partnership to Educate and Advance Kids (PEAK), West Town Bikes, Youth Plan! Biking & Advocacy
Southwest Organizing Project, Teen REACH
Freshmen Orientation
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Working Bikes
Spark, High School Pathways Program
JCUA Organizing Fellowship Peer Health Exchange Chicago, Peer Health
Exchange Relationship-Centered Model (RCM) Working in the Schools (WITS)
St. Joseph Services, The SJS After School
John G. Shedd Aquarium, Teen Learning Lab
Program YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Tech Teens
Phalanx Family Services, Project Innovation
Junior Achievement of Chicago, JA Finance
Summer Advantage USA, Learn and Young Men’s Educational Network,
Park Virtual Phoenix Diverse Holistics Collaborative,
Earn Program (Chicago Housing Authority) Saturday University
Urban IT program
Juvenile Protective Association
Telpochcalli Community Education Project, Youth Guidance, Yearbook Club at Fenger
Pre-Freshman Program in Engineering and
Kidz Express NFP, Computer Program OLLIN Youth Group
Science at Chicago State University, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, TechGYRLS
Ladies of Virtue, Project Lab Prep to Succeed Territory NFP, Territory Design Build Internship

LBBA Labs Program, CityLab Project Education Plus, Photography Club The Anti-Cruelty Society, After School Advocates

Life Directions, Peer Motivation Project Exploration, Explore Engineering The Chicago Urban League, Opportunity Works

Lookingglass Theatre Company, Project SYNCERE, E-CADEMY The Jazz Institute of Chicago, Jazz Links
Lookingglass Lab Ambassadors Program
Project Tech Teens, Englewood Codes
Lost Boyz Inc., Girlz Softball The Love, Unity & Values (LUV) Institute, The
Project: VISION, High School Scholars Program
Journey to My Better Self Media Empowerment
Love To Serve, Inc., Kroc Center Summer 2017 Program
Lumity, Student Based Enterprise


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