Inspiring the next generation of innovators
The D-Lab Youth Outreach Program provides primary and secondary school age youth in the Boston area and around the world with transformative educational experiences. The goal? To build the confidence and skills needed to create technologies that matter in addressing the challenges of their daily lives. We believe in supporting technology design for youth, by youth, and are working to empower young people to be active problem-solvers.
Grassroots Innovation Tour (10 yrs and up)
During this tour of D-Lab, students explore different technologies designed for development while learning about the culture, challenges, and stories of those living in poverty around the world and how innovation can change their lives.
Technologies include charcoal preparation from agricultural waste, seed shellers, a pedal-powered washing machine and other pedal-powered technologies, a wheel chair, and corn shellers. All the technologies can be used by participants under our supervision.
Please sign up for this tour here.
Together with students and educators from around the world, D-Lab is developing and delivering hands-on curricula aimed at youth that utilize affordable locally available resources to:
- Build confidence & creativity
- Demystify science & technology
- Develop skills with practical applications and social & environmental relevance
Greater Boston Youth Outreach
Local youth can attend weekly programs hosted in D-Lab at MIT, free of charge. These programs are organized in collaboration with schools, afterschool programs and homeschooling associations. Individual families are encouraged to come to D-Lab during open office hours, when the youth outreach staff can provide family-friendly interactive technology tours. Please contact us to schedule a group program or tour.
International Youth Outreach
The Population Reference Bureau estimates that nearly 90% of the world’s youth live in developing regions. Youth outreach enables D-Lab to explore how to better engage youth in the development process. Education is also a channel for disseminating ideas and simple technologies through schools and youth centers, as well as with parents and the broader community when youth return home. Young people in parts of India, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Brazil, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania can participate in programs run by our community partners, with support from D-Lab students and staff doing fieldwork. Additional programs are being developed and offered at partner schools and youth centers. Please contact us if you are interested in exploring an international partnership.
D-Lab is working to connect our Massachusetts school partners with our international school partners to provide more meaningful opportunities for students to connect and work with their peers from different geographic locations and backgrounds.
Educator Resources & Network
D-Lab is connecting partner educators around the world to share ideas and co-develop, test, and refine curricula. All hands-on curricula, project information and videos will be made available online at no cost. D-Lab is also working to develop low-cost laboratory kits from local materials to help make the curricula more accessible in various regions. A new Teachers-in-Residence program is in development, where educators can come to D-Lab to share their experience with our staff and students and continue developing their own capacity. In the future, D-Lab will explore offering additional professional development opportunities to teachers, both locally and abroad.
D-Lab is developing training materials and mechanisms for university students to work on youth education in resource-limited contexts more effectively. The new D-Lab: Education class links university students to community partners working with youth and mentors with years of teaching experience. Class teams work to develop and teach hands-on lessons in the spring and summer around the world, and dedicated students can continue this work in subsequent semesters through UROP. The class and UROP opportunities are open to students from MIT, Harvard and Wellesley. Other university students in the Boston area are welcome to assist with the program as volunteers. Please contact us for more information.