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Strengthening a Partnership to Create Visible Learning Pathways in Architecture and Design for Chicago Youth

This second CAF-inspired FUSE challenge pushes youth to design for real 'clients' and will develop an online mentoring tool to connect architect mentors with FUSE participants

Lead Organization:
Northwestern University | The Office of STEM Education Partnerships

Partner Organizations:
The Chicago Architecture Foundation

Project Goal:
A new architecture & design-inspired FUSE challenge and an online mentoring tool to connect architects and FUSE youth and provide an accessible on-ramp to deeper engagement in design through

Project Tags:
2014 Round 1 RFP

Project Portfolio

  • tools

    FUSE Studio Challenges

    FUSE is a new kind of interest-driven learning experience being developed by researchers at Northwestern University with the goal of engaging pre-teens and teens in science, technology, engineering, arts/design, and mathematics (STEAM) topics while fostering the development of important 21st century skills including adaptive problem solving, creativity, self-directed learning, persistence, and grit. FUSE is now offered in-school, after-school, and on the weekends at 18 different locations in the greater Chicago area.

    Look for the “Dream Home” Challenge.

  • tools

    Remote Online Mentoring

    In addition to releasing a new FUSE Challenge we also wanted to give teens participating in the Challenge an opportunity to receive mentoring in a similar format as they would on To do this we have developed a new online mentoring module for FUSE’s web learning platform, This mentoring module allows teens to connect on-demand with adults to review their architectural designs and iterate based on the feedback they receive.

  • documentation

    FUSE Challenge Artifacts

    Teens participating in the Challenge will submit their Sketchup files to the FUSE website at the end of every level in the activity. These uploads (called artifacts in FUSE lingo) will populate a personal portfolio for each teen and will demonstrate the increasing quality and complexity of their architectural designs over the course of the challenge.