steamlabs mission is for society to have a broad understanding of Artificial Intelligence, enabling people to use it to improve their lives and advocate for equitable, ethical policies from companies and governments. We do this through offering strategic consulting and developing innovative education programs.
WHO WE ARE
Steamlabs is a non-profit helping people to understand and think critically of leading-edge science and technology so that they can use these as tools in their lives, and to be knowledgeable and proactive participants in the discussions that we must have as a society to ensure they are deployed with fairness, accountability, trust and ethics.
Steamlabs’ current goal is for society to have a broad understanding of Artificial Intelligence for their own use as well as to empower them to advocate for equitable, ethical policies from companies and governments.
Steamlabs has created science and technology experiences in science centres, schools, libraries and makerspaces through exploration and creativity. Since being founded in 2010, over 850,000 people have made something in our programs.
Today, our focus has evolved to assisting and consulting other organizations in capacity development when producing their youth driven educational programs.
We believe that science and technology literacy and access enables our individual creativity, the decentralization of innovation, and the participatory co-creation of the world we want tomorrow.
For society to have a broad understanding of Artificial Intelligence, enabling people to use it to improve their lives and advocate for equitable, ethical policies from companies and governments. We do this through offering strategic consulting and developing innovative education programs.
A world in which humans feel confident using digital and physical tools to achieve their goals and rejoice in their ability to creatively re-imagine technology.
BY THE NUMBERS
Offer Our Programs
We Run Every Year
OUR TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
We have a 4 part recipe that guides the development of every activity, from a 15-minute activity for visitors at the Ontario Science Centre to our 13-week teen innovation program Zero to Startup. We’ve shared this recipe with educators all over the world, from London England, to Olso Norway, to San Francisco California to New York City. Maker Educators going through our training programs have brought this recipe to hundreds of thousands of kids.
The first part sets the tone. Learning is done best in an environment that encourages playful exploration, free from judgement of performing a skill correctly. This part of the recipe happens throughout the process – from introducing 3D printing by playing around in the 3D design environment to make something fun for yourself, to exploring how an LED strip works in different conditions to playing with your arcade game at the end of your build.
The design part is where a could of ideas starts to become something real. We teach Design Thinking, modified as appropriate for the age of the learner, to focus their thoughts on solving some specific challenge. For young kids, this is frequently making their lives better or more interesting. 3D and laser cut artwork, Room cleaning robots, rover race mazes, electronic instruments and more are common projects. As they get older, we expand their thought-radius and by the time they are teenagers they are making inventions to improve their cities such as smart streetlights, compost monitoring “compost pixies”, water quality monitoring sensor networks and more.
In the Make part, participants bring their design to life. By working in groups, participants get to specialize and participate in the way that excites them the most. We encourage a basic understanding in all technology, and then a deep dive into the tech that gives them passion. As they get older, we also teach them to lead in ways that they excel as well. For example, some kids are all about the ideas, others love to tinker and figure out how to execute ideas, some love talking to all the team members and getting everyone working together.
The Celebration step is about enjoying what you have made and how you made it. We reinforce that the process is more important than the product by finding ways to show off the failures and iterations they have gone through. Celebration is also about having a genuine purpose to what is being created. By making things that are actually important to the participants, the skills they have learned are deeply absorbed.
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