GET City, a collaboration between Michigan State University and Lansing Boys and Girls Club, is a youth-based program designed to empower inner-city youth to become community science experts in energy sustainability and environmental health topics. The year round after-school program integrates hands-on, experiential learning with training in Information Technologies [IT] tools of communication, all within the context of the students' own cultural knowledge and experiences. Program participants gain IT workforce skills, research experience, science knowledge, and inquiry skills, and use these to effectively communicate their concerns and ideas to their peers and to community leaders.
A key program objective, portrayed in the video profile, is to develop
ways to give socio-economically disadvantaged kids
authority over the path and products of their learning. GET City's
inquiry-based approach begins with community stakeholders who offer
expertise and background knowledge. Then the program responds flexibly
to provide students with the tools they need to carry
out investigations of their own design. For example, students
design and execute a survey of their community's conservation practices,
collect data on the urban heat island phenomenon, and investigate environmental
health impacts of climate change. Each investigation culminates with
students finding a way to express their ideas in their
own authentic voice, utilizing a range of IT tools: PSAs and
mini-documentaries, a Web site and newsletter, or PowerPoint presentation.
To project site >