The Youth eXperience (YX) Lab was founded in 2018 at the University of Maryland’s iSchool. Our mission is to create novel, playful learning experiences that connect varying disciplines and learning contexts for underrepresented, underserved, or marginalized youth to empower them to participate and contribute more actively in their communities and promote their interest in STEM-related fields.

Goals: The YX Lab has 5 goals:

  1. To create learning experiences for youth that bridge/connect across conventionally distinct disciplines. (i.e. data literacy + sports/biometrics; science + architecture; math + art).
  2. To find, support, empower, and connect champions (i.e. librarians, parents, industry professionals, teachers, STEMexperts in a community, public intellectuals) with and in the community.
  3. To create learning experiences that bridge/connect across learning contexts (i.e. home, school, libraries, after-school, virtual) resulting in a stronger dialogue/connection between informal and formal STEM learning.
  4. To create novel, playful learning experiences that empower learners and mediate tensions between unstructured and structured STEM learning experiences. Playfulness is also about allowing youth to take risks and not be afraid of failure, etc. (“playing” with data; “playing” with known facts to invent new things; etc.).
  5. To promote and study the development of youth orientation toward STEM learning and technology. Steering youth to see themselves or identify as scientists or computational do-ers, so that they feel like they belong to the communities of scientists, civic-minded citizens, etc.