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The Imagine Science Campaign: Collective Action Framework

[ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] CONCEPT PAPER [/ut_highlight]

A Shared Vision for America’s Youth

[ut_dropcap style=”two”] W [/ut_dropcap] alt Disney was once quoted as saying: “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” Given what Walt Disney accomplished in his life, he was right. Walt Disney’s achievements are perhaps one of the world’s greatest examples of what can happen when curiosity and imagination meet science and technology. Walt Disney called this mix “Imagineering” because it captured the creative explosion that can occur when imagination and engineering unite.

Well, it’s not a stretch to say that America needs more imagineers—young entrepreneurs who can imagine what others dare not, and who have the technical skills to build what others cannot. Disney, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Apple, IBM, Google, and Microsoft are just a few of the iconic American brands built by young imagineers.

This nation has a rich history of imagineering, but we risk diminishing that great legacy if we don’t do something now to create an environment where more young people can unleash their curiosity through science, technology, engineering, and math. American actor and activist, Ossie Davis, once stated that he had an experience as a child that was so powerful, it stayed with him the rest of his adult life. The exact words of his remarks are something like this: “My imagination caught fire, and I have never been able to put the fire out.”

Today, some of the nation’s oldest and largest youth development organizations (YDOs) are stepping forward to do something bold. Together, we will work in an unprecedented way to spark the curiosity for a new generation of imagineers. We know that American businesses are struggling to find the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics talent they need to stay competitive. By sharing our data, exchanging our content, and delivering high-quality experiences that make STEM fun and exciting, we will bend the STEM supply curve.

We will do our part to help America remain competitive, prosperous, and curious.

[ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] Our goal is to provide the nation, by 2020, with 4 million more students who are interested in and literate in science, and who are inspired to pursue STEM jobs and careers. [/ut_highlight] What follows is a summary of the key principles that we each have agreed to as we continue to design and to develop what collective action will look like in 2014.

Shared Principles of Action

Until we can commit the time and thought necessary to properly labeling our partnership, we will take our inspiration from Disney’s Imagineering Department and will refer to it temporarily as the

[ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”]Imagine Science Partnership[/ut_highlight]—a collaboration among five of the nation’s most recognized youth development organizations.

We have agreed to the following principles that will inform our collective efforts at both the national and local levels. These operating principles are designed to create the conditions for effective and sustainable collaboration and to minimize conflict.

[ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”]Executive Level Leadership: [/ut_highlight]  The Imagine Partnership will involve the full and active participation of the senior-most executive from each participating organization.

[ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”]Transparency: [/ut_highlight] All participating organizations commit to creating a culture of full transparency where revenue and expenses are disclosed readily.

[ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”]Uniform Measurement: [/ut_highlight] All participating organizations commit to using shared performance indicators and a shared assessment system to measure and to track performance.

[ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”]Community Engagement: [/ut_highlight] All participating organizations commit to a process that cultivates local, community-level engagement and participation.

[ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”]Resource Exchange: [/ut_highlight] All participating organizations commit to share knowledge and to exchange resources in ways that increase the capacity and capabilities of local clubs, chapters, councils, affiliates, etc.

These five

[ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”]Operating Principles[/ut_highlight]” represent commitments that each participating organization agrees to follow.

As the Imagine Partnership moves forward, the “what” is becoming a bit more clear. On the pages that follow we highlight some of the organizing features of the collaborative model for which we intend to seek financial support. The model is still being designed, but at its core is the goal of delivering high-quality, out-of-school time STEM experiences—in an unprecedented way—that spark the curiosity for a new generation of imagineers.


The Imagine Science Campaign Framework

Tagline: If you can imagine it, you can create it.

Description: The Imagine Science Campaign is a collaborative, community-wide, summer long experience that encourages youth to imagine the future through discovery and exploration in science, technology, engineering, and math.

In its current form, the Imagine Science Campaign will test features of a collaborative model, such as the following:

  • Create a
[ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] shared experience [/ut_highlight] during the summer that is delivered jointly by local affiliates from each of the 5 participating national organizations.
  • Be guided by an
  • [ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] evidence-based, STEM-focused curriculum [/ut_highlight] that is enhanced by positive youth development principles and practices.
  • Incorporate hands-on experiences that involve
  • [ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] discovery [/ut_highlight] (i.e., learning through investigation how something today was created) and
    [ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] creation [/ut_highlight] (i.e., using science, technology, engineering and math to create something new and innovative).
  • Conclude with a
  • [ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] community-wide event [/ut_highlight] , such as a showcase, a team-based contest, or even a community-wide game or challenge.
  • Use a
  • [ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] shared assessment framework [/ut_highlight] to collect data and to assess the impact of the program before, during, and after the summer long session.
  • Employ
  • [ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] leading data analytics [/ut_highlight] methods to generate insights into why some interventions work better than others with key youth segments, such as minority girls.

    From Collective Action to Collective Benefits

    We anticipate that working together will bring with it a number of tangible benefits to each of our respective organizations, such as:

    • The ability to draw insights and best practices from community-level campaigns that can be used to improve our individual understanding of what engages and motivates young people of different backgrounds and from different communities. These
    [ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] insights can be shared with other communities [/ut_highlight] in our networks throughout the country.
  • The opportunity for our local affiliates to
  • [ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] access resources and capabilities from one another and from national offices they cannot develop on their own [/ut_highlight] (e.g., STEM curriculum, professional development platform, data analysis collection and reporting systems, etc.).
  • The potential to significantly
  • [ut_highlight color=”#1e73be”] expand the pool of financial investments [/ut_highlight] that are available to our local, community-based affiliates.

    Criteria for Choosing a Local Community

    Selecting the right local community for an Imagine Science Campaign will require some thought. The ideal local community will be one in which we can make measurable gains in the number of youth who are engaged in, and motivated about, STEM. The following criteria are among those from which we will use to choose a local community where we can test our collaborative model:

    1. We each have an established presence (i.e., there is an existing club, chapter, council, affiliate, etc. with a history of strong performance);
    2. We have the opportunity to reach underserved youth, especially girls and youth from low-income households;
    3. Local staff have an expressed interest in STEM education and can emerge with an increased competency in how to deliver high-quality STEM programming;
    4. Local partners agree to appoint a dedicated staff member with the time and ability to serve as a representative on the community-wide campaign team;
    5. We can identify a competent leader in the community who can serve as the point person for the campaign.


    Tentative Timeline for Developing the Imagine Science Campaign

    We intend to develop the framework for the campaign and a proposal to finance its implementation by the end late August 2014. We will be convening thought leaders and community partners soon to help us co-create this campaign.



    By | 2017-02-09T09:09:34+00:00 January 16th, 2014|News|0 Comments

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