Strategic Initiative Project Launch

September 1st–19th

Intro- The goal of this Initiative is to further the citywide mission of building a Creative Economy by facilitating younger generations to be educated, employed and creative in Philadelphia. This project is critical to the next generation’s workforce and leaders to provide economic growth from within the Philadelphia area and will be a model for other University / Museum partnerships interested in building an entrepreneurial “pipeline” from neighborhoods to industry.

The project will engage a “partnership progression” of stakeholders who have the expertise and missions to make a difference in the city. The University of the Arts (by way of a prototyping class), The Franklin Institute, and high school students (String Theory High School and Science Leadership Academy) from across the city will be engaged in defining and designing the needs and communication tools to build awareness of potential careers, but also the ability to participate and develop 21st Century skills, specifically design thinking to fulfill them.

After a meeting with University of the Arts faculty, graduate students, and String Theory High School faculty on Sept. 8th, the goals of the Strategic Initiative Project were discussed to set the groundwork for the partnership progression. The project has two parts: the process and the product. This meeting focused more on the process, turning more abstract ideas into physical approaches by exploring the prototype of ‘context’ or ‘meaning-making’ cards. The purpose of these cards serves to ask the students, “what are you interested in?” and not predetermining, “This is what you need to know.” Another purpose of the cards is not to assume an end result to the process of facilitating feedback based on memories and what the students wish to see in the future. The UArts prototyping class will prototype a set of cards which will center around a dialogue of shared values, interests, and connections to the high school students’ community.

September 22nd will be the first prototyping session at String Theory High School where we will be exploring the students perception and definition of community and through collaborative conversation. It will be exciting to see the process further unfold and develop with the participation of the high school students. More to come soon!

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