Destination: Chicago Invites Youth to Discover New Interests, Skills & Careers at Free Festival

1/23/2015, 3:59 p.m.
Chicago youth 4 to 24 - their families and their teachers as well - will be treated to a full ...

Chicago youth 4 to 24 - their families and their teachers as well - will be treated to a full day of playful learning opportunities on Saturday, January 24, at the 2nd Annual Destination: Chicago – Winter Break. Sponsored by Chicago City of Learning in cooperation with Hive Chicago Learning Network, the event will be held at Jones College Prep, 700 S. State St., between 11am and 4pm. More than 20 organizations will be on hand to introduce young people to the plethora of citywide and online programs in arts, technology, science and more that can open new pathways for their time and minds.

Those attending can: program robots and experiment with 3D modeling with Best Buy’s Geek Squad Academy; compose choreography with Hubbard Street Dance; build a skyscraper with Chicago Architecture Foundation; get creative with clothing in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fashion Wars; design an emoji with Chicago Botanic Garden; become a finger printing sleuth with Project Exploration; explore engineering with Argonne National Laboratory; create stroboscopic digital images with YOUMedia; build a UV light with Scientists for Tomorrow; experience Hip-Hop Yoga led by Mindful Practices; make upcycled bird feeders with The Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum; use html coding to create webpages with Adler Planetarium; investigate hydroponics with Sweet Water Foundation; mix music with Best Buy Teen Tech Center Little Black Pearl Workshop; and much more!

“We’re very excited about the wide range of activities available at Destination: Chicago, especially since it is representative of what’s available to Chicago youth year-round,” said Nichole Pinkard of Digital Youth Network at DePaul University. “Chicago City of Learning is all about connecting young people to what excites them now and could translate into a career in the future.”

In addition to the above-mentioned organizations, also participating will be: Chicago Southside Mini Maker Faire; Center for College Access and Success of NEIU; CodeCreate; Comcast; Digital Youth Network; Forall Systems; Mikva Challenge; The Anti-Cruelty Society; The National Veterans Art Museum; and The Wishcraft Workshop.

As partygoers discover new skills and what interests them, they can also earn digital badges that reflect their accomplishments, can direct them to additional opportunities in that field, and make them eligible to win prizes, such as an iPad Mini, a laptop and tickets to local events at a raffle to be held at the end of the day! Additional prizes will be awarded to students who complete the Winter Break Adventure Challenge Playlist at ChicagoCityofLearning.org. The deadline to participate is January 19th, so there’s still time to play!

Chicago City of Learning's (CCOL) proud and first sponsor, Best Buy, will be on-site to engage youth in their Geek Squad Academy workshops and maker station activities. In support of CCOL, Best Buy issued the Best Buy Challenge to CPS schools and to Chicagoland youth. CPS schools were challenged to get students to claim their CCOL accounts and Chicago area youth were challenged to do the Best Buy Playlist, a set of five online activities aligned with Geek Squad Academy's areas of focus - programming, music and video production, and design. Best Buy representatives will announce the Challenge winners at Destination: Chicago. Two CPS schools with the highest percentage of accounts claimed will win Geek Squad Academies at their schools this spring. The Chicagoland youth who have completed the Best Buy Playlist will be in a raffle for iPads and laptops, courtesy of Best Buy. CPS partnered in this effort through their CPS Connects initiative, and officials will be on hand to celebrate the winning schools.

New this year, teachers of all grades and subjects are invited to attend Destination: Chicago on the Teacher Track, presented by the Center for College Access and Success of NEIU as a part of their efforts with Hive Chicago to connect schools with out-of-school learning. While discovering how to bring the Maker Movement into their classrooms, they can earn two CPDU credits. Visit HiveChicago.org/Moonshots for more information.

Youth, families and teachers can all RSVP at DestinationChicagoWinterBreak.eventbrite.com and learn more at ChicagoCityofLearning.org/DestinationChicago.