How OCEP Pivoted during the Pandemic

How OCEP Pivoted during the Pandemic

Digital Divas

STEAMBASSADORS

MISSION

To help college students discover and strengthen their STEAM interests and share their passions with youth through mentorship and creative activities.

PANDEMIC PIVOT

All training for STEAMbassadors and all youth programming went virtual. STEAMville’s playlists—including faculty projects like TunePad, FUSE, and Digital Divas—were critical resources. The program borrowed 170 laptops including 50 from Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development and 20 from the Center for Excellence in Computer Science Education. The City Colleges of Chicago also loaned laptops. After the summer program ended, nearly 20 STEAMbassadors successfully found jobs in Evanston and Chicago to support STEAM learning.

OCEP PARTNERS

City Colleges of Chicago, led by Truman College; DePaul University; Chicago Park District; Project Exploration; and dozens of community organizations and nonprofits including the Evanston Public Library, Chicago’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, creative writing and tutoring center 826 Chi, and AeroStar Avion Institute, a nonprofit that promotes awareness of aviation career pathways.

BAXTER CENTER FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION bcse.northwestern.edu

MISSION

To provide direct support for science educators, including free classroom supplies and professional development programs.

PANDEMIC PIVOT

The Baxter Center created a weekly teacher virtual learning series to discuss research-based principles for online learning and the challenges of moving to remote classes. The Baxter Box Program, which provides teachers with free lab equipment, was modified for at-home use; the new Baxter Box@Home program allowed teachers to borrow a demo version of the Baxter Box, which includes pipettes, a gel box, a thermocycler, and an entire classroom set of lab reagents.

OCEP PARTNERS

Baxter International Foundation, Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood, and Round Lake High School in Chicago’s northern suburbs.

DIGITAL YOUTH DIVAS
digitalyouthnetwork.org/divas/

MISSION

To support a learning ecosystem of college-age mentors, resources for families, and community support by offering a research-based weekend STEAM program for girls beginning in fourth grade, with outcomes tracked through high school. OCEP PARTNERS: Computing and technology professors Sheena Erete and Denise Nacu of DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media.

PANDEMIC PIVOT

Programming for Digital Youth Divas shifted from in-person workshops to fully online instruction. In addition to holding sessions via video conferencing, mentors used the existing STEAMville online platform to deliver and facilitate design-based STEAM content and provide space for community and relationship building.

CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION
cecse.northwestern.edu

MISSION

CECSE addresses the inequities in coding and computer science learning opportunities, from programming education for youth to professional learning and skill building for teachers. With a focus on advanced computer science courses, the center provides free professional development for educators and supports computer science and coding programming with city and community partners across Chicago.

PANDEMIC PIVOT

CECSE supported One Summer Chicago’s app-development program for youth as it transitioned to an all-virtual experience, providing training and resources for its 21 instructors and supporting its end-of-summer virtual showcase of the apps and documentary shorts created by participants. CECSE also helped facilitate the donation of nearly 7,000 Osmo hands-on learning games to children, educators, and community organizations in Evanston and Chicago.

OCEP PARTNERS

Lane Tech College Prep on Chicago’s North Side and Chicago Public Schools.

Contact Us

Office of Community Education Partnerships

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Email: ocep@northwestern.edu