When I visited Explora Ingeniería at Alamosa Community Center, a janitor directed me, ‘Right down the hall where all the excited kids are.’ I saw kids and parents, all doing engineering activities facilitated in Spanish.
Three boys and a girl were stomping a modified bike pump to launch rockets they had designed, then running back to re-engineer their rockets’ fins and re-test them. Cheers or groans announced how each modification fared.
Nearby, a little brother was on mom’s lap, experimenting with balance. Every time the mother placed an object on a wire, it fell off, and the little one laughed. Then, he’d try. An educator gave the boy extra paper clips to add weight and help balance the object. When the boy succeeded, he snuggled into his mom’s neck with a satisfied giggle.
The vibrant learning environment described above grew out of an innovative, three-part community engagement strategy developed and implemented a few years ago by Explora in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Called “Listen, Welcome, Co-Create,” the approach came from the institution’s conscious decision to turn outwards and use its community as a reference point for strategic planning and design making.
Whether your institution needs a formal, written plan for working with your community or your current strategy could benefit from new models and techniques, an upcoming workshop presented by Explora and ASTC is a must-attend event.
Register now to attend
“Listen, Welcome, Co-create: Three Steps Toward True Community Engagement”
with your team in Albuquerque, Thursday & Friday, April 13 and 14.
Make plans to attend with colleagues and during the event you will gain experience in co-facilitating a community listening session and drafting a strategy for engagement. You will also have opportunities to learn from honest discussion about some of the difficulties Explora has navigated in the course of implementing its plan.
The workshop will be facilitated by Kristin Leigh (recipient of a 2016 Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for this work) other members of the Explora team, partners from Albuquerque’s diverse communities, and ASTC staff.
Sign up by March 27 to be included in the hotel block. If you have any questions about this workshop opportunity, please contact ASTC’s Ann Hernandez.