Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Hands on/Project-Based
Informal /Out of School
Work Readiness/Employment

Target Audience

Black/African American


English Language Learner




Pre-K - 5
Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Accomplished link

Program Overview

Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn provides future Boston inventors and innovators with access to new ideas, tools, and meaningful making experiences that inspire and shape their enthusiasm STEM. Ours is a multi-year, multi-level role model program designed to engage a critical mass of Boston youth in technology and science and catalyze community change.

Each year, we hire 4 college mentors and 25-35 teenage youth teachers to participate in learning, building and teaching with computer programming, physical programming, digital design and fabrication, energy alternatives, and graphic design. 

LEARNING. Youth teachers spend each Saturday in March-June in project-based activities held at the South End Technology Center @ Tent City and the MIT Media Lab. We use constructionism, an approach based on the belief that people learn best while making things. According to the constructionist approach, the greatest success happens when learners share both the design process and what they have made with others in meaningful ways. 

BUILDING. Youth teachers begin the summer session by designing and building socially conscious projects of their own choosing. Their engineering design process is documented on a multimedia wiki. The youth teachers demonstrate and explain their projects to the community at our annual Project Expo.

TEACHING. To serve the community, our youth teachers become STEM ambassadors and extend their own learning by offering 3-week science and technology camps in July and August to elementary and middle school youth at over 20 Boston housing developments, youth agencies and community.

Funders and Partners

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Architecture and Planning
MIT Media Lab Center for Bits and Atoms
MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten Group and High Low Technology Group
Boston Youth Fund
Martin Luther King Summer Scholars Program
Boston Private Industry Council
Boston Center for Youth and Families Archdale Community Center
Cognizant Make the Future Program


Mel King, Executive Director

Visit Website

Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.