Learning Parties are like when Mister Rogers visits his neighbors to see what they do, encapsulated in an energetic, engaging two-hour in-person event.

Community members share how their knowledge and projects relate to the party theme. There are career connections. There are opportunities to meet scientists, engineers, and artists. There’s even sometimes dancing that explores the party’s theme!

Learning Parties are open, science fair-style events where anyone can drop in and learn from local experts, makers, artists, and geeks in their community. Party-goers visit 4 to 8 stations that explore the party’s theme through hands-on activities. And it’s a party, so obviously there’s tons of snacks and good music!

<aside> 🍰 All-Time Favorite Party Themes: 🎶 Music and Sound 🤖 Robots Rule the World 💡Circuits and Contraptions 🚀 Outer Space 🕷️ Creepy Science 🌈 Rainbows 🤢 Grossology 🥑 Fun with Food

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Why host a Learning Party?

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Everyone loves to party—social gathering is a universal human tendency. At parties, we meet our neighbors, share knowledge, and have FUN! When we make learning a party, everyone can get excited about it. Learning Parties are Assemble’s way of making things like biology and electronic circuitry accessible, inspiring, and fun for anyone and everyone.

Let's get down to the details

When it happens:

Monthly, for 2 hours

Class size:

12-75 party-goers over the 2 hours, no more than 20 visitors at a time

For these folks:

Kids of all ages: drop-offs, walk-ins, and families partying together, and groups of kids from other organizations are all welcome!

Scientists, artists, academics, technologists, and hobbyists who want to share what they’re doing with the community

How to participate:

Drop in, show up! Free to all partygoers

<aside> 🕑 Run of show for one learning party: Learning Parties at Assemble take place on the third Friday of each month, from 4pm to 6pm

30 minutes Guests experts and makers arrive and set up their activities at tables; Party coordinator sets up food

2 hours Party time! Each station should have an activity that takes 5-10 minutes to complete, party-goers come and go at their leisure

30 minutes Clean-up

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How does this connect to Assemble's . . .

Pedagogy ?

Learning Parties are a physical manifestation of STEAM—every party brings science, technology, engineering, art, and math into the same room, and often into the same activities. And Learning Parties are interdisciplinary in topic and learning style. At a Learning Party, you might do a dance about light, or hear a cardiologist tell a story about blood, or write a poem about planets, or do a science experiment about words, or paint a picture of gravity.

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Learning Parties put hands-on learning and 21st century skills into cultural and community context. They’re a place for scientists to take their work out of the lab and into the neighborhood. They’re a space for artists to share their craft with others. They’re an opportunity for organizations to engage with the community and spread the word about what they do.

People ?

Learning Parties are a team effort. Start with one of your Coordinators who can dedicate significant time in the weeks (or months) before the party putting all of the pieces together. This person should be a social butterfly who gets energy from being around others—the kind of person who is good at getting people to do things for free.