About Us - Partnerships

MacArthur Foundation logo Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums

These grants will support the planning and designing of up to 30 Learning Labs in libraries and museums throughout the country. The Labs are intended to engage middle- and high-school youth in mentor-led, interest-based, youth-centered, collaborative learning using digital and traditional media. Grantees will be required to participate, in-person and online, in a community of practice that will provide technical assistance, networking, and cross-project learning. Projects are expected to provide prototypes for the field and be based on current research about digital media and youth learning. There will be two project deadlines for this grant program, with the second deadline planned for spring 2012.

Learn more about applying for a Learning Labs Grant.

For recently updated application information, see the Learning Labs Technical Assistance Tumblr.

Project Resources

The White House "Educate to Innovate" Web site

The MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning blog

Learning Science in Informal Environments podcast from the National Academies of Science (MP3)
Informal science is a burgeoning field that operates across a broad range of venues and envisages learning outcomes for individuals, schools, families, and society. This podcast looks at what how and where informal science learning takes place and the benefits it can provide to all people.

The Exploratorium’s Learning Studio is a model example of a "learning lab", for professional developers, educators, and youth. It's the collaborative, developmental engine where new experiments and activities are designed for the Exploratorium Tinkering Studio (a space for visiting youth and adults to become engaged in experimental making with tools, materials, and staff facilitators).

YOUmedia.org – Resources For Youth Digital Media Learning

YOUmedia Chicago: Reimagining Learning, Literacies, and Libraries: A Snapshot of Year 1 (May 2011)

Museums Afterschool: Principals, Data and Design  
The Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, has been leading a network of 13 informal learning providers in developing and researching approaches to providing high quality informal science experiences in after-school programs.  

Huffington Post article by Mimi Ito:" When Youth Own the Public Education Agenda"

Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century
Produced for PBS by tpt National Productions and Mobile Digital Arts, with major funding from the MacArthur and Pearson Foundations and additional support from Cisco Networking Academy and Adobe, this film explores how educators are increasingly using digital media and interactive practices to ignite their students' curiosity and ingenuity, help them become civically engaged, allow them to collaborate with peers worldwide, and empower self-directed learning.

Additional partnership content on the IMLS Web site:
iPads in the Univeristy of Alabama's GeoTech Lab.
Blog Post: Hang Out, Mess Around, and Geek Out at the UA GeoTech Lab

November 15, 2013 02:03 PM
The new learning lab at the Alabama Museum of Natural History gives teens access to technology they might not be able to use at home or in their schools. These gadgets will allow hands-on experimentation, collaboration, and tinkering in areas of personal interest. Read More

 
2014GrantOpps4pager
2014 Guide to Funding Programs and Opportunities


This four-page overview of IMLS funding programs provides succinct information on the agency's grant and award programs, as well as agency initiatives and priorities. Read More