Full-Scale Development: Collaborative Research: NEXT: The Youth Radio Innovation Lab

September 1st, 2013 - August 31st, 2016 | PROJECT

This full scale/collaborative research project targets underserved youth who will collaborate with STEM professionals to co-create community-relevant technology and media content creating a potentially scalable model. App Lab DIY is a collaboration between Youth Radio, the MIT Media Lab's Center for Mobile Learning, and the Mozilla Foundation. There are multiple and well integrated project strategies. Youth working with professionals will design, create, and disseminate original apps that engage users around community issues (e.g. urban wildlife mapping; Community DNA). They will work directly with the MIT Media Lab/Mobile Learning Center to improve App Inventor, an open-source tool. Youth participants will create media content for national on-air and online outlets including NPR. They will design digital badges to validate and document what they've learned creating media and apps. Curricular resources and tools for educators will be created and disseminated to advance STEM learning among underserved youth. Deliverables include: 1) creation of three apps (media-rich, STEM-relevant, community valued) that engage communities; 2) improvements in App Inventor, MIT's open-source tool that democratizes app develop for and by all; 3) radio stories that are integrated with the apps; 4) a multimedia toolkit for informal and formal educators to adapt in their programs; 5) a pilot badging system to mark mastery of skills associated with youth-driven media production and technological innovation; and 6) a research study focusing on the use of app development to drive STEM learning and engagement among underserved youth. Original research will be conducted by an embedded Scholar-in-Residence to inform and advance the field about driving STEM engagement via media/tech innovation. The Scholar-in-Residence will use Participant-Action-Research to inform and improve practice and study the big general questions about how the program works and why. The evaluation will leverage the instruments and methods established in Youth Radio's past NSF grants to study the impact on the youth's skills, knowledge and attitudes. They will also study impacts on two additional audiences: educators using the multimedia toolkit and users of the mobile apps. Approximate 1000 Youth Radio students will participate in the project over the three years through contributions to app development, radio production, and digital badges creation. The multimedia toolkit will be nationally disseminated to STEM educators with a large potential reach.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Poster: Youth Radio NEXT Innovation Lab
STEM Media That Matters: Summative Evaluation of Youth Radio’s Innovation Lab

Team Members

Ellin O'Leary, Principal Investigator, Youth Radio
Elisabeth Soep, Co-Principal Investigator, Youth Radio
Harold Alelson, Principal Investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
teresa chin, Contributor, Youth Radio
Kristin Bass, Evaluator, Rockman, et. al.


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1323791
Funding Amount: 1149303

Funding Source: NSF
Award Number: 1322623
Funding Amount: 455490


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Community Outreach Programs | Media and Technology | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media