Our team - 7 MIT and UC Berkeley students — will be bicycling from location to location, starting in San Francisco, CA and ending in Washington, DC, offering "learning festivals" in 10 communities — primarily underprivileged schools and communities — across the US. The bicycling component makes this a great example project to show to the students.
The goal of each learning festival is to excite high school students to start projects of their own. Each festival will consist of 4 hands-on, project-based classes taught by students passionate about the field in question. The classes are educational opportunities to learn about a certain field, but are also meant to show the students that learning can be an exciting exploration of knowledge.
These four classes will be followed by a “How to Start a Project” workshop in which we walk the students through how to brainstorm, communicate, and decompose an idea into manageable chunks. After this workshop, we invite the students to work on projects of their own, which we will help them develop and carry out as part of the end of the festival, with the resources we have.
At the end of each festival we will match each continuing project with a mentor drawn from MIT students and faculty, and mentors from the TechStars mentoring program.
Prior to leaving on the trip, we will interview each mentor to assure that they are
effective teachers and communicators, friendly, and approachable
Each student will talk with their mentor by phone or video chat once every two
weeks at which time the two can discuss progress, important unanswered question
the student may be struggling with, and next steps.
We have partnered with Teach For America (www.teachforamerica.org) to contact
each festival location, attract students, and advertise across the local communities. We are also currently working with Lego, and they might provide for some of our classes' materials.
We have a full contingency plan in case of delays, a full outline of necessary food (to
be purchased on the road) and equipment, as well as medical training and supplies.