Shifting Rhythms is in the early stages of development, and we ran a pilot program during Spring 2018. We are traveling to different locations in Coahoma County with our mobile education unit. We have hired a director, native to Clarksdale, to help bring the curriculum to youth across the county.
We have built a trailer for the students to use during the pilot program. It is fully equipped with 3D printers, a screen printing station, computers, soldering irons, and all the tools necessary to complete the curriculum. There is plenty of workspace for the students, but they can also wheel the tools outside of the trailer into classrooms or afterschool spaces.
The curriculum has four main tracks that students can choose from: creating diddley-bows, creating 3D printed electronic speakers, screen printing, and web design. The program is 12 weeks long and provides students the choice to pick any two of the three tracks that interest them most. These tracks were developed alongside youth in Coahoma County based on their interests and to help increase their exposure to new tools and fields.
The mobile education space travels around Coahoma County, Mississippi. We partner with a variety of after-school programs and other organizations to bring hands-on learning to youth in communities including Clarksdale, Jonestown, and Friar's Point.
In a state that ranks 43rd for academic achievement, we've talked to youth who express uncertainty about their future and college- and career prep opportunities.
In communities with a history of race-based economic and social exclusion, we want to embrace the rich and vibrant culture and collaborate with and learn from the passionate people working to strengthen their communities.
"The biggest thing that our youth suffer from is a lack of exposure."
"There’s nothing in Clarksdale to do and if I want to be successful I need to go somewhere with more activities"
"[We] are full of potential and are simply in need of more accessible opportunities for growth."