Young people adapt well to technology and its advancement. They benefit from it as a means to learn, communicate, and entertain. They build virtual communities and work to maintain them. However, they are unlikely to understand why their real-life neighborhoods succeed or fail and how they could play a positive role in their future. Participation is low and there is a sense of widespread apathy. “Why should I get involved when no one will listen or take me seriously?” At the same time their minds are full of ideas that could make their neighborhood a healthier, more fun, and less dangerous place to live. What if they were shown what makes a neighborhood work well? What if they were taught how to amplify their voice amongst their community? Would they take advantage and be more engaged? As the curriculum develops we will study what serves as gateways to learning, what will motivate action, and what incentives will encourage continued civic participation.
Sample Student Campaigns
ChicagoQuest Students Visit the Chicago Architecture Foundation
On March 4th, students in the Regenerate Chicago Neighborhoods class visited the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) where they learned about the City Model and the City of Big Data exhibits. CAF staff, Gina Grant, Jen Masengarb, and Tocarra Mallard hosted the group and gave presentations about the information being shown via the model as well as the interactive touch screens and diagrams surrounding it. Students learned about the processes used to build and update the model and how data was being collected and used throughout the City. They were able to ask questions about the City as well as get feedback for their own Campaigns.