Since January 1, 2018, stewardship of Hive Chicago has transitioned from Mozilla to a new local non-profit, the Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX). Please visit us at chicagolx/joinus to learn how you and your organization can join our growing community. The Hive is still the Hive.

Y-SciCom: A Training Series for Developing Youth Science Communications Programs

A still image from “How It Works: A Steam Engine” created by U Chicago teen interns and Mumkin Studio.

Shine On Chicago and Mumkin Studio are teaming up to host a series of learning lunches this fall.  The goal is to help Hive member organizations with a science emphasis create TV pitches and marketing ideas for science communications initiatives with youth media collaborators.  We’ll help these organizations focus their communications efforts with our Y-Sci Com Production Playbook — which provides everything an organization needs to help identify, create and promote these science communication stories!

Each learning lunch will cover a different facet of developing media content for science communications efforts, including local TV broadcast, social media campaigns, and open educational resources. The first training session in October will help member organizations identify potential science stories for broadcast, as well as providing tips for sharing these stories and getting them on the air.

In November, we’ll focus on how member organizations can best use social media to communicate about research and community engagement efforts, such as sustainability efforts, museum-based education, university research, and public health and safety initiatives.The longer-term goal of these learning lunches is to develop mobile teams of teen content creators who work on-site to create science communication media projects for both Hive organizations and other science organizations in the city.

Our first learning lunch is scheduled for after the HIVE Meetup in October, and focuses on getting science stories on local Chicago TV stations, and will be co-hosted by Bill Natale, a Shine On Chicago board member and broadcasting guru who has worked at NBC, ABC, WTTW, and FOX during his long and illustrious career.  We hope you can join us for these learning lunches!


In January 2018, we finished the 3rd of our Y-SciCom learning lunches to help improve Hive member communications outside of the HIVE either through broadcasting, social media or asset mapping strategies and opportunities. Let’s take a moment and review the program and what we learned during the process about Hive Chicago.

The program was part of Hive Glimmer Grant created by Shine On Chicago and Mumkin Studios. More specifically, the program consisted of three Y-SciCom learning lunches that occurred during the fall 2017 and winter of 2018. Each lunch focused on a different communication objective: broadcasting, community asset mapping, and social media.

The first lunch was in October following the Hive Meetup, and featured Shine On Chicago board member and broadcasting expert, Bill Natale. Mr. Natale has over 40 years of broadcasting experience in the Chicago market, and has worked for NBC, ABC, Fox, and WTTW and understands how to get video productions on the air. Together with Jim Kropp, Mr. Natale was able to lead Hive organizations through a series of exercises to help them identify potential teen science stories that would appeal to a broadcast audience.

Member turnout was good for our first learning lunch, and we were able to identify several organizational stories that had broadcast potential. After the lunch, several Hive organizations stayed and discussed their broadcast stories and how we might work to get them on the air!

Our second lunch was held in December in the evening, and focuses on how Hive organizations could tap into the community assets, and better marketing themselves using these assets.  The presenter, George Villanueva, Ph.D.School of Communication, Loyola University Chicago did an excellent job of encouraging participants to think about how their own digital resources could be better managed and consolidated.

The final learning lunch was held in January 2018; it was led by Lesley Etherly of Contexture Media and was titled, “Expanding Your Reach through Social Media” and encouraged participants to think about how they currently use social media, and some tips and techniques for improving an organization’s strategies for using social media by focusing on the what, the when and the how of engaging social media. This lunch was the best attended of the 3 seminars, and it included not only Hive organizations but other teen-oriented organizations in Chicago.

We were inspired and excited by the number of Hive organizations who had some very compelling teen stories (and not always about science — sometimes in was about social justice or a communities arts program) that did offer expanded marketing opportunities.  We see these three marketing tools (i.e. broadcasting, asset mapping, and social media) as important way for the Hive network to expand its voice and organizational reach!

Shine On Chicago and Mumkin Studios would like to thank Hive Chicago and The Chicago Community Trust for its generous support of this Glimmer Grant.

Project Tags:
2017 Round 2 RFP