Imagine a world in which building robots with engineers, designing experiments with researchers and developing flight paths with astronauts was the norm in middle school science.  And a world in which every teacher had the training, tools and community support to bring this idea to life.

A 2-year pilot launched in the fall of 2018, Catalyst is a bold new plan to radically transform middle school learning by bringing the core of our Expanded Learning Time model - the apprenticeship - to life during the traditional school day. It's our effort to ensure that all children have access to the deeper learning opportunities they crave, and that all teachers have the supports they need to build the skills and networks of our next generation leaders. Catalyst will help build the capacity of teachers, schools, parents and volunteers, while bringing learning to life for our students.

Catalyst unites four core programmatic elements to support teachers and volunteers in the delivery of standards-aligned, high-quality, STEM-focused project based learning experiences.

Learn more about our program elements by hovering over the squares below.

Scaffolded, relevant curricula to support teachers in implementing Catalyst projects.

Scaffolded, relevant curricula to support teachers in implementing Catalyst projects.

18 hours of professional development on quality implementation with community volunteers; Access to a peer network and on call coach.

18 hours of professional development on quality implementation with community volunteers; Access to a peer network and on call coach.

Access to actionable assessments to measure student SEL outcomes and 21st century skills and mindsets. Teachers receive easy to use data reports and supports for action planning.

Access to actionable assessments to measure student SEL outcomes and 21st century skills and mindsets. Teachers receive easy to use data reports and supports for action planning.

Access to a  volunteer matching database  and a set of  support services  to ensure quality teacher/mentor match, and access to curricular overlay to meaningfully integrate volunteers.

Access to a volunteer matching database and a set of support services to ensure quality teacher/mentor match, and access to curricular overlay to meaningfully integrate volunteers.

Leverage design thinking with teachers, volunteers from the community, and expert partners.

Design Thinking brings together “what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable allowing people who aren't trained as designers to use creative tools to address a vast range of challenges.” Utilizing a Design Thinking approach to address our challenge allows us to make decisions based on the future needs, instead of relying on historical data or what may have worked in the past.

Catalyst Co-Design Team 2018-19

We are thrilled to introduce our Volunteer Experience Design Team, a group of committed Dell volunteers who bring 10 years of experience leading apprenticeships with middle school students in our extended learning time program.

We are grateful for their continued service to Citizen Schools to help us translate the expanded learning time volunteer experience into our Catalyst program model. 

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For more information on Catalyst, or to get involved, Please contact us.

Catalyst Partners: