A world where every child can develop their potential in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Transforming marginalized kids into STEM-fluent global leaders.
Our philosophy is to empower kids with knowledge of the natural world and technology and to instill in them a sense of responsibility to their communities and our planet. Through our blended and global approach to STEM education, we hope to provide marginalized kids with applicable college and career-ready skills, and a larger understanding of the world outside of their immediate context. We want them to develop an appreciation of their place in the world their responsibility to themselves and their communities as global citizens. Our aim is to develop leaders that are driven to make a positive impact on the world and that have the knowledge and tools to turn their ideas into reality.
OpenWise Learning (OWL) is part of the larger OpenWise social enterprise. OWL is a youth development organization serving marginalized kids by providing them with STEM education with an emphasis on Technology, Social Justice, and Ecological Justice. We follow our young Scholars from middle school through high school, providing them with educational opportunities & professional opportunities in the form of apprenticeships through our sister organization OpenWise and other partner organizations.
Through Open Source technology STEM education, international youth collaboration, mentorship, and apprenticeship, we’re opening new pathways to STEM careers for marginalized kids, expanding their understanding of the world, and providing them the tools to contribute to the community at home and abroad.
- Provide real-world education and experience in STEM careers.
- Promote goal-setting, self-discipline, and leadership skills.
- Launch young women and men into careers in STEM, after their post-secondary education or through continued education in college.
- Change life trajectories by providing the tools to build financial stability and independence.
- Provide social education and exposure to global issues to cultivate community and global leadership.
- We believe technology, governments, education, and society at large are all bettered through openness and collaboration.
- We believe in social justice for all regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and place or circumstances of birth.
- We believe realizing one’s potential in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math is an opportunity every child should have.
- We believe in and are endorsers of the Principles for Digital Development.
- We believe in and support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN in 2015 and that they must apply to all countries to build a better world.
Our History & Future:
We originally founded or organization in the spring of 2015 as OpenWise Foundation. After being vetted as a DCPS (DC Public School) program, we conducted the first pilot of our 5 weeks, OWL Immersive program in Washington, DC with a cohort of Black middle school-aged boys from June to July 2016. In the fall of 2016, we followed our summer program with our OWL STEM Leadership Corps program meeting monthly with the boys to continue to develop their STEM skills, community service, and social justice knowledge. In 2017 we opened our Summer Immersive to Black girls (the cohort had an equal number of boys and girls), we expanded our Academic Year program to meet bi-weekly, and OpenWise Foundation took on the legal operating name OpenWise Learning to more clearly communicate our mission. In 2018 we opened our Washington DC Summer Immersive program to Latino boys and girls, and in the fall we conducted a pilot of our OWL Immersive program in Nairobi, Kenya with regional partners. In 2019 our global cohort will start collaborating on projects which combine STEM, SDG goals, and youth service during their AYS Sessions. In 2019 we’ll mark our 4th annual OWL Immersive in Washington, DC, and our 2nd annual OWL Immersive in Nairobi, Kenya.