As of January 1, 2018, stewardship of Hive Chicago will transition from Mozilla to a new local non-profit, the Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX). Hive Chicago will have a temporary home at the Chicago Community Trust until the transition to CLX is complete. The Hive is still the Hive. Read more here.

Feb 23 2018

Technology is an Avenue, Learning is the Destination: Hive Chicago Fund Announces 2018 Round 1 Grants


Steven Willis, STEM Program Manager at Chicago Youth Centers, works on “making” activities with teens.

Learning by doing, youth choice, open technologies for digital mapping. These are a few of the approaches that the Hive Chicago Fund for Connected Learning at The Chicago Community Trust (soon to be part of the Chicago Learning Exchange) promotes in order to create relevant and challenging learning opportunities for teens in Chicago.

In our 2018 Round 1 Request for Proposals (RFP), the Fund is excited to support 11 collaborative projects totaling $176,665 to ensure Chicago youth from all backgrounds have access to rich learning opportunities, educators have development and training to shift practice, and we provide systems to support the city as a learning ecosystem.

Through this work, the Fund believes that technology is not the goal; it’s a means by which we are changing the way we teach and learn. The Fund does promote digital media and technology tools, but we do so because we care about rethinking learning.

With LRNG: CHI—a digital learning and badging platform—and Hive Chicago Learning Network—a community of over 100 youth-serving organizations and educators—we often ask critical questions. How might we create learning opportunities that ignite a young person’s passions? How might educators create curricula that resonates with a young person’s life? How might we create an infrastructure to connect and broker learning experiences across Chicago?

Through the Fund, our community can turn “how might we” statements into action through the following grants:

Bridging Community and Hive: Developing the Austin STEM Learning Center will convene Austin community stakeholders about the STEM Learning Center, and offer two summer STEM pilot programs serving middle and high school students.

Amount: $24,200

Lead: Project Exploration

Partners: Columbia College Chicago/Scientists for Tomorrow, Chicago Architecture Foundation

ChronoCurrency Pilot: Reclaiming Time As Money will pilot the use of a timebanking exchange in youth development as an alternative to financial currency.

Amount: $22,669

Lead: Chicago Parks Foundation/North Park Village Nature Center

Partners: CoderSpace, Kola Nut Collaborative, Chicago Youth Centers, MOSAYEC, El Valor Center

Inquiry-Based Connected Learning (IBCL) will provide a series of professional development sessions to 50 GEAR UP teachers on how to incorporate interest-driven, peer feedback, and iterative learning practices.

Amount: $22,412

Lead: Northeastern Illinois University Center for College Access and Success (CCAS)

Partners: Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, University of Chicago Game Changer, Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence, Mikva Challenge

ASN STEMbassador Learning Community will pilot a professional development series for both in-school and out-of-school educators to learn hands-on learning activities concepts such as game design, robotics, and making.

Amount: $21,884

Lead: Alternative Schools Network (ASN)

Partners: Northeastern Illinois University, Center for College Access and Success (CCAS)

‘Working through S.C.A.L.E.’ (Sustainable Collaborations Across Living Ecologies) will focus on teaching and engaging teens about citizen science through data collection, digital mapping, and open-sourced sensors.

Amount: $21,000

Lead: Sweet Water Foundation

Partners: Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Mental Health // Empowerment Design Challenge – Activate Impact will work with schools to create and market holistic and positive messages (e.g. “You Are Beautiful”) created by and for teens.

Amount: $19,000

Lead: Commonwealth Foundation

Partners: Contexture Media Network, Chicago Public Schools, Noble Charter Schools

High Flying Connections will pilot a train-the-trainer approach to create and build drone clubs with two community-based organizations.

Amount: $12,500

Lead: Agape Werks

Partners: Hyde Park Art Center

Education Equity Curriculum Development Research Phase will host classroom-based focus groups and plan a youth-driven methodology and curriculum that highlights a 1963 youth boycott to protest racial segregation in Chicago Public Schools.

Amount: $3,000

Lead: Mikva Challenge

Partners: Kartemquin Films

*Youth Digital Media Activism special opportunity grants provide project-based grants that bring together youth media creators and youth organizers in order to leverage and exchange organization’s expertise to address issues within their community.

Suffrage at 16: Civic Engagement Tailored for Youth by Youth* will work together to highlight and create media campaigns around VOTE 16—an initiative to lower the voting age to 16.

Amount: $10,000

Lead: Community TV Network (CTVN)

Partners: VOTE 16 Illinois

La Villita Community Reporters* will work together to exchange, document, and build inter-generational journalism and civic participation through a community news portal called Little Village Community Portal.

Amount: $10,000

Lead: National Museum of Mexican Art/Yollocalli Arts Reach

Partners: Enlace Chicago

Cook County Jail Video Project* will work together to produce, document, and edit youth narratives about a voting rights program housed in Cook County jails.

Amount: $10,000

Lead: Urban Gateways/Street Level Youth Media

Partners: Chicago Votes

In the near future, we will unite our organizations, creating the Chicago Learning Exchange. To learn more about our exciting new structure, read more here.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to the Funded Project Showcase on April 19 at the Hive Chicago Learning Network Meetup.

The Fund was seeded through generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (MacArthur) as part of its Digital Media & Learning program. Current contributors to the Fund include the Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, McCormick Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, SCE, and The Trust.

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