In this climate of economic uncertainty, Louisville is turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future. And, innovation remains tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the so-called STEM subjects.
The Creative Innovation Zone promotes and uses the Arts as effective tools in teaching these subjects. That is why the Creative Innovation Zone leaders have partnered with local artists, educators and workforce development experts to create the STEAM Exchange. (Science. Technology. Engineering. Arts. Math.)
What is the Steam Exchange?
The Steam Exchange is a makerspace where people of all ages and socio-economic levels will have access to tools and training to produce creative works right in the Smoketown neighborhood.
During the first year, the Steam Exchange will offer outreach events, workshops and classes in printmaking, bookbinding, metalsmithing, computer programming and app development. Many of these programs are already underway with community-based partner organizations throughout Smoketown such as Bates Memorial Church, Meyzeek Middle School and YouthBuild Louisville.
The Steam Exchange will also house a tool lending library that will open during the summer of 2015.
Bridging the job skills gap for young people.
Steam Exchange is developing a pre-apprenticeship program that will work with businesses within a 5 mile radius of the Smoketown neighborhood to enable working-age youth to bridge the gap between existing job skills and required entry level job skills.
Additionally, for young adults who are interested in jobs in advanced manufacturing or computer-based careers, the Steam Exchange’s digital fluency program, partnered with and developed by members of Louisville’s growing coder community, will include workshops for young adults to build mobile and web applications in hopes of inspiring a new generation of thinkers and doers.
DIGITAL Fluency PROGRAMS @ Steam Exchange
Traditional digital programs focus on teaching students how to use current generation office tools mimicking their use in an office setting. This approach ignores the fact that in five to ten years these office softwares will advance a generation. Today’s modern programs will be antiquated.
STEAM Exchange is taking this model and flipping it upside down. We will be teaching students the advanced art of coding, a marketable trade skill.
The ability to navigate a computer will happen organically. Our goal is to instill a drive to learn while giving our students an opportunity to develop a skill that can directly impact their earnings potential.
Arts as tools of empowerment.
The mission of Steam Exchange is to facilitate passion-driven learning experiences where individuals explore the integral connections between science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) through creative play and production. We aim to foster a sense of community, pride and ownership in the Smoketown neighborhood and to encourage community-based creative entrepreneurship by connecting people with the skills and facilities to develop quality projects.