Case Study: We’re Students Too: Teaching Incarcerated Youth

Forces of Change
Start Day and Time
Sunday May 7 1:45-2:15 p.m.
Venue and Meeting Room
262 America's Center
In 2015, the Intrepid Museum partnered with the Department of Corrections to provide enrichment programming for 16-and-17-year-old males incarcerated in the Rikers Island jail complex. The curriculum focuses on providing hands-on STEM learning opportunities inspired by the Intrepid's rich collection of aircraft, spacecraft, and stories. Activities include testing paper gliders, graphing the acceleration of a space shuttle, and using software to turn 2D drawings into 3D models. STEM programming promotes positive habits in these young men, as well as a strong sense of accomplishment.
Learner Outcome
  1. Learn what success looks and feels like for incarcerated youth participating in a museum education STEM program.
  2. Learn to apply the best practices of positive youth development to your own museum education projects by reviewing lessons learned.
  3. Learn how to confidently draw connections between your museum's collections and resources and the needs of incarcerated youth.
Megan Bednarz
Museum Educator for Community Engagement
Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
Megan is passionate about bringing the Intrepid Museum to New Yorkers who haven't had positive museum experiences or felt success in formal classrooms. Megan works with DOE's District 79 and 75. She's implemented STEM programs throughout NYC by developing partnerships with DYCD, and Department of Corrections. Megan hopes to inspire and encourage other museum educators to teach in similar settings providing a service to the often underserved.