Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt and National Design Museum and technology partner LearningTimes proposed to build the DesignPrep badge system (which at the beginning was called Design Exchange). Their program is a digital badge system that has been integrated into Cooper-Hewitt’s DesignPrep program, which engages underserved high school students in New York City in design activities. The program provides youth the opportunity to develop design, collaboration, and presentation skills through participating in activities focused around fashion, architecture, and 3D design.
Design for America (DFA) is an interdisciplinary network of university students and community members. The project aims to create local and social impact by using the needs of the community members to guide design and interaction within the system. This Human Centered Design (HCD) approach allows the project to have a broad focus on design, while creating learning opportunities that meet specific needs of users within that broader domain. Students in the program have developed designs to conserve energy, reduce the potential of acquiring infections in hospitals, and promote reading literacy, among other topics. Founded at Northwestern University in 2009, Design for America has since expanded to other universities across the country. Currently, several studios of student teams are located nationwide, operating as extracurricular programs.
The Providence After School Alliance (PASA) partners with after school and extracurricular programs to offer quality learning experiences to middle and high school students. In their DML Proposal, PASA described their mission “to expand and improve quality afterschool, summer, and other expanded learning opportunities for the youth of Providence by organizing a sustainable public/private system that contributes to student success and serves as a national model” (Stage 1 DML Proposal). Specifically, PASA supports the operations and infrastructure of the local AfterZone network of organizations that administer learning experiences to middle school student and a similar network of organizations offering programs to high schoolers that includes a social and discovery-based website called The Hub.
The Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems is a new interdisciplinary major that integrates a portfolio system featuring digital badges. UC Davis’s Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences developed “a model of learning, participation, and assessment focused around high-level ‘core competencies’ that bridge classroom and real-world experiences, academic investigations and concrete skills. We believe this model has the ability to train leaders who will transform the food system, changing the way each of us eats and lives.”