The Clubhouse: Where Technology Meets Imagination is a free, creative, and safe 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 Boston, USA and Stina Cooke of The Computer Museum, now part of the Museum of Science, Boston.
Fueled by an investment of over $50 million by Intel from 2000-2015, The Clubhouse Network: A Global Community For Creativity & Achievement supports 100 Clubhouses in 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, India, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Palestine, Panama, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, South Africa, and the United States. Headquartered at the Museum of Science, Boston, the stated vision of the The Clubhouse Network is “to expand the highly successful Clubhouse learning approach and establish it as a replicable model for technology learning in community-based organizations around the world.”
Winner of the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Innovation, The Clubhouse learning model inspires youth to think about themselves as competent, creative, and critical learners. As the social life of young people has moved online, participation in the digital public has become an essential part of youth identities. The Clubhouse makes an important contribution not just in local urban communities but also as a model for after-school learning environments globally. 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."
Clubhouses have been the proving ground for a number of projects of the MIT Media Lab's "Lifelong Kindergarten" research group. Notable examples are
- Scratch, an early 21st-century multimedia programming language for young people
- Lego Mindstorms programmable bricks, a late 20th-century robotic construction toy
- The Clubhouse Village, an online community that connects people at more than 100 Clubhouses in 19 countries around the world so they can share ideas with one another, get feedback and advice on their projects, and work together on collaborative design activities.
- PICO programmable Crickets, early 21st-century programmable toys for art construction projects
- 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.
- The Clubhouse Network 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.
- Meyers, Nicole. "Best Buy Doubles Down, Opens 4 Teen Tech Centers Nationwide". Best Buy Corporate. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
- 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.
- "The Clubhouse Village". Lifelong Kindergarten Projects. MIT Media Lab. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- 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.