Design what’s possible with STEM Studio

Design what's possible with STEM Studio

Photo with an impression of teachers and community partners discussing Project Designs during STEM Studio

Welcome to STEM Studio, a place where your creativity and passion for education is unleashed!

We believe that each student is capable of greatness and has the potential to become a hero in their own journey. However, those opportunities aren’t easy to create, especially when you’re trying to work alone. STEM Studio provides the space and support to plot out a challenging learning experience that elevates students’ voices, extends well beyond the classroom, and can run with the support of peers, partners, and Learn Deep. Join us to create the kind of challenge you’ve always wanted to offer your students. 

This is your chance to build connections, see new possibilities, and get a good chunk of unit planning done at the same time. You could call it ‘PD’, but its really more like remembering why you wanted to teach in the first place and doing something about it.

What would you like to build this summer?

Every summer we host teachers for a multi-day Design Studio.

Together we’ll collaborate to craft a Challenge Framework based on Learn Deep’s Model for Community Engaged Project-Based Learning that can guide you and your students through an extended project journey.

This summer we are offering 5 opportunities to try your hand at collaborating on designs you will be able to use in the 2023-24 school year (Click the links to learn more):

Scholarships Now Available!

Through a generous donation, we have a limited number of scholarships available for STEM Studio design workshops. Use promo code SS2023 when you register.

Our Summer 2023 Schedule

Week 1


9:00 am – noon


1:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Monday, July 24 Youth Mental Health Learning Space Redesign
Tuesday, July 25 Youth Mental Health Learning Space Redesign
Wednesday, July 26 Water Quality and Equity MKE Skates
Thursday, July 27 Water Quality and Equity MKE Skates
Friday, July 28 Open Studio Open Studio

Week 2


9:00 am – noon


1:30 am – 4:30 pm

Monday, July 31 Youth Mental Health Learning Space Redesign
Tuesday, August 1 Youth Mental Health  Learning Space Redesign
Wednesday, August 2 Water Quality and Equity  MKE Skates
Thursday, August 3 Water Quality and Equity MKE Skates
Friday, August 4

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Project Showcase


We’ll be working together on the campus of MSOE in downtown Milwaukee.

Our STEM Studio sessions are hosted downtown at MSOE’s WE Energies STEM Center in the Northwestern Mutual sponsored lab room. 

What we’ll develop

Over the course of STEM Studio sessions, we’ll work together to develop a Program Guide and framework for the project at hand that detail:

  • Key project events (kick-off, review, showcase) 
  • Field experiences participating schools might leverage to inform and support the work of students and teachers engaged in the project
  • Community partners available to support the work of students and teachers
  • On-going support/coaching for participating teachers
  • Artifacts students will produce as part of the effort
  • Where and how project activities connect back to curriculum standards

We cap the sessions with a chance to show off your work to peers, school leaders and (prospective) community partners on Friday August 4th.

Interested in joining? 

Follow the links above for details and registration information for each of the sessions.

If you are already a member of inspirEd, you will have the option to sign up for STEM Studio 2023 and finalize your registration there as well. 

I can’t make the scheduled STEM Studio this summer.

We understand that summer plans get in the way of participating in the studio. However, if you are inspired by the challenge themes and where what we’re working on might lead, you’ll still have a chance to participate when they kick off in the coming school year. You’ll have the benefit of working with a finished Program Guide and related materials.

Let us know what sparks your interest and well keep you posted as we finalize plans and get ready to launch.

    I’d like to keep informed about the 2023 STEM Studio Challenges.


    STEM Studio

    Last spring, with funding from Northwestern Mutual, we conducted interviews with teachers and mentors involved with MPS’s efforts to introduce Project GUTS, SHARP Literacy’s Design Through Code (DTC) program, TEALS, and First Robotics. The goal was to understand how we might expand opportunities to develop computational thinking outside of computer science classes, by listening to what drew teachers and mentors already engaged in that type of activity to take on the task. We provided a recap of that work here.

    One of the ideas that came out of that effort was to work with teams of teachers and expertise from the broader community to create and pilot real world projects that provide solid opportunities to engage students in computational thinking. We call that the STEM Studio, and are happy to report that Northwestern Mutual has provided funding to design and pilot the first projects with MPS.

    Since environmental science is a spring semester focus for MPS middle schools, we used our November Collab Lab on Green Infrastructure to generate ideas for potential projects. One of those is the Southeastern Wisconsin Watershed’s Trust’s (Sweetwater) Adopt a Storm Drain Program. As we talked about what that might look like as a STEM Studio project, Sweetwater pointed us to the Smart City Reverse RFP offered by Caravela IoT. That initiative seeks to demonstrate the potential to leverage a network of sensors that detect environmental data. Winning submissions would receive both equipment and technical support to pilot a project. We partnered with MPS, Sweetwater and Reflo to put in a joint proposal which uses STEM Studio pilot projects to both deploy sensors and expose students to the technology. We were selected as one of the winners and are happy to now have Caravela IoT engaged with us in the STEM Studio effort.

    Over the next few weeks we’ll be pulling our teams of teachers together with community partners to design and pilot the experiences we want students to have as they take on the STEM Studio projects. Collab Lab attendees will know that one of our criteria for projects we get involved in is the ability to scale across schools with network effects. As part of the STEM Studio pilots, we’ll work with the teams to reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and what the next cohort of teachers will want to have in place to take on or extend the challenge in their schools.

    2023-24 Collab Labs

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