The Clubhouse Network: Where Technology Meets Imagination is a free out-of-school learning program where young people (ages 10–18) from underserved communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop new skills, and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology. Founded as the "Computer Clubhouse" in 1993, The Clubhouse is the brainchild of Mitchel Resnick and Natalie Rusk of the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Stina Cooke of Boston's Computer Museum.
Fueled by an investment of over $50 million by Intel from 2000-15, The Clubhouse Network supports nearly 100 community-based Clubhouses in 18 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Palestine, Panama, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, South Africa, and the United States. Since 2012, Best Buy has partnered with The Clubhouse Network to open multiple sites throughout the U.S., operating under the name "Best Buy Teen Tech Centers." The Clubhouse Network provides 25,000 youth per year with access to resources, skills, and experiences to help them succeed in their careers, contribute to their communities, and lead outstanding lives.
Led by longtime Executive Director Gail Breslow, The Clubhouse Network was part of the Museum of Science, Boston, from 2000 until 2017. In 2018 it separated from the Museum and relocated to Dudley Square in the heart of Roxbury, Massachusetts, in order to better reach youth and families in the community. Winner of the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Innovation, The Clubhouse inspires youth to think about themselves as competent, creative, and critical learners. The Clubhouse Network makes an important contribution not just in local urban communities but also as a model for after-school learning environments globally. In 2016, The Clubhouse partnered with the MIT Media Lab and Maker Media to publish Start Making! A Guide To Engaging Young People in Maker Activities.
Clubhouses have been the proving ground for a number of projects of the MIT Media Lab's "Lifelong Kindergarten" research group. Notable examples include:
- Lego Mindstorms programmable bricks, a late 20th-century robotic construction toy.
- PICO programmable Crickets, early 21st-century programmable toys for art construction projects
- Scratch, a 21st-century multimedia programming language for young people.
- "The Clubhouse Network". Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- Marriott, Michel. "Not Just Closing a Divide, but Leaping It". New York Times. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
- 1998, Resnick, M., Rusk, N., Cooke, S. "The Computer Clubhouse: Technological Fluency in the Inner City", published in: High Technology and Low-Income Communitiesedited by D. Schon, B. Sanyal, and W. Mitchell, MIT Press. Online version , retrieved on October 18, 2007.
- Locations at theclubhousenetwork.org, retrieved on March 8, 2016.
- Meyers, Nicole. "Best Buy Doubles Down, Opens 4 Teen Tech Centers Nationwide". Best Buy Corporate. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
- Mission & Vision at theclubhousenetwork.org, retrieved on March 8, 2016.
- "Drucker Non-Profit Innovation Award". Drucker Institute. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
- Kafai, Yasmin; Peppler, Kylie; Chapman, Robbin (July 2009). The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and Creativity in Youth Communities. Teachers College Press. ISBN 0807749907. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- "New From Make: Books -- 'Start Making! A Guide to Engaging Young People in Maker Activities'". April 13, 2016.
- Business Week, Sep 7, 2006 "Invasion of the DIY Robots" by Jessie Scanlon. Online edition retrieved on October 18, 2007.
- MIT Spectrum, Winter 1998 "Smart Toys - Mitch Resnick builds a toy chest of learning tools". Retrieved on October 18, 2007.
- 2004, Maloney, J., Burd, L., Kafai, Y., Rusk, N., Silverman, B. and Resnick, M., "Scratch: A Sneak Preview. Second International Conference on Creating, Connecting, and Collaborating through Computing, Kyoto, Japan, pp. 104-109. Online version retrieved on October 18, 2007.