When President Obama launched his Educate to Innovate campaign—outlining a vision for moving American students from the middle to the top of the pack in math and science—he made one point clear: “Our future is on the line.”
It’s important to remember that education is not limited to just schools; that’s why libraries and museums are teaming up with teens outside of the classroom. Together, they’re working to build new and creative spaces across America that will provide young innovators with skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)—skills necessary to the nation’s future.
Fueled by a partnership between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the MacArthur Foundation, 25 learning labs will be created in libraries and museums across the country. Much like the Chicago Public Library’s YOUmedia Center, where high school teens can access thousands of books, over 100 laptop and desktop computers, and a variety of media creation tools and software, these labs will help students stretch their imaginations and develop indispensable new skills. These new environments will help teens prepare for work in the 21st century global economy, where problem solving, digital literacy, and critical thinking are basic requirements for an increasing number of jobs.
Hundreds of U.S. libraries and museums are already on board and have taken the first step to learning about how this transformation is taking shape. And there’s no need to wait for their arrival to get involved. Visit your local library or museum today, or enter your zip code at the Connect a Million Minds “Connectory” to search for programs and opportunities in your neighborhood.