04/26/2012 -

Adalis is a sophomore and former AfterZone participant, at Mt.Pleasant high school who has been training as an intern in the Hub’s Internship program, which trains high school students to serve in PASA's middle school programs throughout the AfterZone to support the transition from middle to high school.

On the final day of their leadership academy training, we thought it would be interesting to get a student’s take on the program and on what it’s like to participate in PASA programs from middle through high school!


PASA: What was it like switching from the AfterZone to the HUB?

Adalis: I thought it was like a dream come true. Because I remember when I was in the AfterZone and how great City Year was; they were like the coolest people I met, and I told myself that when I get older, I wanted to do exactly what they did. And the Hub gave me that chance. It’s like I want to give back, I want to give these [middle school] students a place where they can have fun, and I can do that by helping out.

I love every activity in the Hub! I don’t think there’s ever a time when I’m not interested in something. It’s a place where I can...

04/17/2012 -

The Energy Department's Dr. Karina Edmonds and Erin Pierce spoke to thousands of women in STEM fields as part of a "Tweet Up" designed to discuss how to get more girls involved in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Edmonds answered questions after the event, noting that parents and educators should be sure not to stereotype girls and should instead actively encourage their interest in STEM.

Have a great idea, concern, or question about nurturing girls' interest in STEM? Keep the conversation going and let the Department of Energy know what's on your mind! 

Send them your thoughts and ideas here.


04/17/2012 -

(Photo by Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times/ March 1, 2012)

By Michael Braithwaite

Schools, after-school and expanded learning organizations, community members, and policy makers across the country are finding themselves in an exciting position of trying to determine how a new generation of learners can best be served. New models of practice, dynamic collaborations, and never-before-seen digital innovations are cropping up in countless cities and towns and it seems that the time is ripe for a paradigm shift. 

As communities try different tactics to reengage young people in their learning experiences, questions about how we can innovate, revitalize, and invigorate while still focusing on test scores seem to punctuate much of the conversation. According to the students (and their test scores) at Leo Politi Elementary School, west of downtown LA, one answer might be to provide students with opportunities for relevant, hands-on learning.

The LA Times' Louis Sahagun published an encouraging article this week about how the addition of a school garden at Politi sent science test scores "from the basement to the penthouse." According to the article, "three years ago, the school's standardized test scores in science for fifth-graders showed that 9% were proficient and none were advanced. Last spring, 53% of fifth-graders tested as proficient or advanced." 

Hands-on learning is no stranger to PASA or to many educators. In fact, it's just makes sense that if young people dive into real-world science experiences, regardless if it's building a solar go-cart or designing an avian field guide for a local park, those experiences are going to encourage connections to and enhance classroom learning!

To see what PASA's doing to encourage hands-on learning, check out our...

04/11/2012 -

With all the national conversation going on about expanded learning, digital learning, and badges, everyone wants to know one thing: What will it look like? 

PASA contributed to the conversation last Thursday when we unveiled our digital badge and high school expanded learning for credit plans to a room full of local entrepreneurs, school and district reps., and members of the tech community at the Rhode Island Foundation.

The whole morning was filled with excitement and energy, but the highlight was hearing from Adonis and Rolando, two students from the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex who are participating in the Hub's expanded learning for credit program.

Adonis (pictured above) and Rolando have been taking a Drupal webmaking expanded learning class with local webmaker Kerri Lemoie. They're learning how to make their own websites with one of the most relevant webmaking tools on the market, but beyond getting real-world, employable skills while gaining high school credit, Adonis and Rolando are EXCITED about learning.

"When I was a kid, I always wanted to learn how to build my own website and make it the most popular site on the Internet," Rolando told the room, "now I'm learning how to do that!" Curious about what Rolando means? Check out his site!

With PASA's digital badges, students like Adonis and Rolando will recieve badges that will provide them with authenticated validation of their skills, which they can then show potential employers, schools, and colleagues.

For more about the event, check out Linda Borg's coverage in the Providence Journal here.

04/10/2012 -

Students from the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex are getting credit for designing video games at AS220. Check out what they're learning!

03/09/2012 -

PASA's "Pathways for Lifelong Learning" entry won the national Digital Media and Learning competition, sponsored by the MacArthur and Mozilla Foundations!

Hub director Damian Ewens, and Hub technology coordinator Kerri Lemoie travelled to San Francisco to present the project with 500 other entrants in a highly competitive third and final stage, walking away as one of only 30 winners. Winners included NASA, Disney-Pixar, Microsoft... and PASA (obviously)!

We can't wait to see what possibilities digital badges might open up for the youth of our city. 

To keep up with news as Providence's badging system progresses, be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!




02/22/2012 -



The Hub was just announced as one of the Stage 2 winners in the MacArthur Foundation competition, Digital Media and Learning: Winning Innovators and Thought Leaders Designing and Redefining 21st Century Learning

Click on the image to the left to see what PASA and the Hub have in mind for Pathways for Lifelong Learning. Hub Director Damian Ewens and Hub Technology Coordinator Kerri Lemoie will be heading to San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences at the end of the month to pitch our idea in the finals.

Not sure what badging is or what it can do? Read the article below, reposted from the DML Central Blog! To keep up to date with the competition and other PASA/Hub goings on, follow us on Twitter and/or like us on Facebook.

Can Badging Be the Zipcar of Testing and Assessment?
BY Cathy Davidson February 21st, 2012