Oakland -- The National Science Foundation awarded Youth Radio a $1.14 million grant to launch the Youth Radio Innovation Lab, a three-year project that partners underserved young people with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professionals.

In 2012, Youth Radio secured funding from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to pilot the Innovation Lab, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has supported Youth Radio's coverage of digital innovation. Through the NSF grant and ongoing partnership with co-grantee MIT Media Lab's Center for Mobile Learning, Youth Radio will test and share projects that advance informal STEM learning. A primary goal is the development of a media-rich tool kit that allows professionals and educators to promote STEM learning through app development and media production in their own communities.

Participants will design and create apps that provide insight into youth-identified issues, fostering awareness, communication, and connection. Projects will likely include explorations into environmental science, biology, and neuroscience, with social science featuring prominently as participants collect and analyze data within their communities. The process and results will be shared through Youth Radio's Science Desk and national network of media outlets, including NPR and National Geographic, to engage users nationwide.