In 2015-16, The Foundry had almost 135 K-12 students from 70 families in the year-round collaborative community that explores robotics and technology across all age groups. These students and adults work across age groups to create opportunities for individuals to learn and grow in the learning model of Explore, Learn, Lead that is the foundation of Forge programs. Membership in the Foundry is currently limited to families and individuals who are willing to lean in to help build a strong, learning environment for other Foundry members. The Forge Downtown is run by volunteers in the Foundry. Our community engagement programs are run by students and adults in the Foundry as part of the Youth Empowerment program. And many of our workshops are facilitated by Foundry volunteers of all ages. Foundry members volunteer many hours and are dedicated to maintaining an environment that is instrumental in creating future leaders and innovators.
For more about The Foundry's core values and mission, click here...
Specific Foundry programs include:
Individualized Youth Empowerment Program
Developing lifelong collaborative and team leadership skills for youth in our organization is huge.
- Opportunities for mentored leadership during hands-on organizing of diverse groups to create tech outreach events
- Roundtables and other events with local leaders, for discussion and Q&A for youth and adult members
- A leadership program for students in middle school thru college who are mentoring younger students. Focus on hands-on leadership opportunities as Mentors-in-Training
Competitive robotics is often the "carrot" that draws students and volunteers in to Foundry programs focusing on many 21st Century skills of collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. The Forge Downtown uses FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology:http://firstinspires.org) as the competitive robotics programs that are complementary to our core values and culture. In 2015-16, The Forge Downtown had multiple teams in the FIRST leagues:
Technology exploration for all ages
Exploring new technologies for use in future STE(Art)M programs including:
- 3D printers: Volunteer-made printers for demonstrating in the community and exploring the world of 3D printers
- MaKey MaKey exploration and curriculum development
- littleBits exploration and curriculum development
Jr Engineers. Hackers Clubs and Rube Goldberg Mechanics
- Exploration of engineering concepts through team activities focusing on design, prototyping and testing (5 to 10 yr's)
- Exploration of programming concepts through team activities focusing on design, prototyping and testing (7 to 11 yr's
- Sharing our passion and excitement about STE(Art)M with the community through outreach events at libraries, schools, and more