The Chicago Academy of Science and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Sweet Water Foundation, and Smart Chicago proposed the Hive Mapping Cooperative as a way for teens in different programs to collect, manage, analyze,and share data through open-source data collecting and mapping tools. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Sweet Water Foundation will pilot these tools with the goal of facilitating collaboration and youth-driven scientific inquiry, within and across their summer 2014 ecology and urban ecosystems programs.
A large part of this project is not only piloting different open-source tools, but sharing what we learn and documenting our work. We will provide a toolkit of resources for other organizations to use and hopefully lead to collaboration among youth.
Hive Chicago is a network of civic and cultural institutions dedicated to transforming the learning landscape by creating opportunities for youth to explore their interests through connected learning experiences. Hive members on this project include:
- The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
- Sweet Water Foundation
- Smart Chicago Collaborative
Other partners who are involved in this work:
- Forest Preserve District of Cook County
- Freedom Games
- Lindblom Math & Science Academy
- Mozilla Science Lab
The main goal of this project is to identify a digital mapping and data sharing platform that can be used across youth-serving organizations. Here are the goals of the project as described in the proposal:
- Develop strategies to teach mapping and analysis of spatial data to youth audiences
- Allow program youth to use maps to inform, create, and inspire narratives and dialogue around environmental, social, and political issues, and recognize maps as contested spaces;
- Create a Chicago-based environmental mapping and data portal populated with data collected by Chicago youth
- Develop an infrastructure to facilitate youth collaboration (data sharing, contributing data, asking new questions, etc.) across and among youth-serving organizations
- Provide Hive organizations with the results of our pilot through a “deep dive” or similar training
Here are some of our responses to questions in our proposal about what we hope to learn from this project:
What is your organization going to learn?
[The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum] strives to engage our audiences in an outdoor setting. Although technology is often viewed as at odds with this objective, integrating mapping technologies into field experiences for youth provides them the opportunity to explore their local natural world while simultaneously learning some of the increasingly important technological tools for scientific study.
What are the students going to learn?
- become critical consumers and creators of maps and other visualization tools
- use and develop maps to create narratives
- develop proficiencies in digital mapping, data collection, and communication of their research
- identify collaboration and sharing of data as crucial to advancing scientific knowledge
These skills are transferable to other natural and social science domains.