Science Life

Ci3’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab awarded $1 million MacArthur Foundation grant

Last summer, youth across Chicago participated in a five-week alternate reality game program called The Source. The program created by Ci3’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab presented investigatory tasks, code-breaking challenges, STEAM-based puzzles and media production opportunities.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is again lending its support to the innovative use of gameplay and design to engage youth in lessons of health and life. The foundation has awarded $1 million over two years to Ci3’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab (GCC Design Lab) to advance its work developing game-based learning experiences that promote sexual and reproductive health, academic success, civic engagement, and overall well-being among urban youth.

The grant will fund an expansion of the GCC Design Lab’s programs and experimental projects, including new game prototypes and curricular development. The support will also help the GCC Design Lab broaden its implementation in schools and community organizations, conduct research and analysis, and generate critical policy recommendations from the findings.

The Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) at the University of Chicago was created in 2012 by Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics, Chief of the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research, and Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Biological Sciences Division.

“We’re extremely honored and excited to have the support of the MacArthur Foundation to expand Ci3’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab,” said Patrick Jagoda, PhD, GCC Design Lab co-founder and Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago. “Our ultimate goal is to demonstrate that working in collaborative teams, addressing complex social problems through gameplay, learning through hands-on experience and being mentored by knowledgeable and engaged adults can engender skills that help youth thrive.”

Read more about Ci3, Game Changer and the MacArthur grant in our Newsroom.