Regional Winners of IMLS and MacArthur Foundation Grants

Today,the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the first 12 winners of a national competition to build 21st Century learning labs in museums and libraries around the country. The winners—four museums and eight libraries—will receive a total of $1.2 million in grants to plan and design the labs. Inspired by YOUMedia, a new teen space at the Chicago Public Library, and innovations in science and technology centers, these labs will help young people move beyond consuming content to making and creating it.

The twelve recipients were selected from a pool of ninety-eight applicants from thirty-two states.  The process for awarding a second round of grants begins in Spring 2012.

The Mid-Atlantic regional winners for the 21st Century Learning Lab grants are:

Howard County Public Library, Columbia, Maryland  who, along with partners The Institute of Learning Innovation and MindGrub Technologies, LLC, will develop a Learning Lab for youth ages 11-18 at the Savage Branch library. Staff at the branch and system levels have identified the need for a dedicated space and activities to meet the increased usage of the library by teen customers, and to deliver effective, informal, learning involving digital media.

New York Hall of Science, New York, New York which will will plan and prototype a youth-centered, community-engaged Digital Making program within the museum’s new Cognizant Maker Space. Digital Making is a program that will empower diverse groups of middle- and high-school youth to investigate and communicate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics through digital media including sound, video, and games.

DaVinci Discovery Center of Science and Technology, Allentown, Pennsylvania which will partner with the Allentown Public Library to create a virtual studio environment for youth engaged in digital media and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities. Participation in the virtual environment will be supported by face-to-face outreach programs. Tools for the creation of digital content will be available on loan from the library.

Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which will work with a variety of local organizations to develop a comprehensive plan for a digital media Learning Lab in the new Parkway Central Library. The lab design will be based on current research, teen focus groups, input from local partners, expert consultants, and staff experience.

Please visit the Institute of Museum and Library Services for more information on all the winning proposals.