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21st Century Skills

The global economy calls for new skills like critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation.

Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century SkillsNational Initiative: Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills
The Institute's Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills initiative underscores the critical role our nation’s museums and libraries play in helping citizens build such 21st century skills as information, communications and technology literacy, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, civic literacy, and global awareness.

Stem Video Game Challenge logoPartnership: STEM Video Game Challenge
IMLS is a National Community Sponsor of the National STEM Video Game Challenge. The Challenge, now in its third year, was inspired by President Obama’s "Educate to Innovate" Campaign, promoting science, technology, engineering and math education.

Search the Awarded Grants database for grants to programs that strengthen 21st century skills (issue areas have only been assigned to grants awarded since FY 2009)

21st century skills content on the IMLS Web site:
Video Game Design Is More Than Writing Code

March 18, 2013 12:55 PM
Webinars show museums and libraries how to get youth involved in the National STEM Video Game Challenge. Read More

IMLS and Library of Congress Announce New National Digital Stewardship Residency

February 21, 2013 09:38 AM
Applications are being accepted from recent master’s program graduates for nine-month residencies in the Washington, D.C. area. Read More

Calling All Youth Gamers: Contest for Original Video Games Now Open

February 11, 2013 12:24 PM
IMLS is expanding opportunities for libraries and museums to support the 2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge, which is now excepting applications. Read More

Everyone On
Blog Post: Everyone On! Libraries Play Essential Role in Connect2Compete Campaign

March 21, 2013 10:51 AM
A public awareness campaign launches today that will help empower people who aren’t Internet users, to get the training they need to get online. Read More

Blog Post: Whose Learning Is It Anyway? (WebWise 2013)

March 14, 2013 02:01 PM
As everything from report cards to student artwork goes digital, WebWise Keynote speaker Audrey Watters asks “Whose Learning is it Anyway?” Read More

IMLS Director and partners meet at HUD
Blog Post: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Best Buy Announce Connect 2 Compete Partnership

February 15, 2013 03:44 PM
Launch of digital literacy training initiative will reach residents of public housing. Read More

cover of Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills report
Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills Report

This report outlines a vision for the role of libraries and museums in the national dialogue around learning and 21st century skills and includes case studies of innovative audience engagement and 21st century skills practices from across the country. Read More

cpver of Talking Points: Makerspaces
Talking Points: Museums, Libraries, and Makerspaces

Quick summary of makerspaces -- hands-on, mentor-led learning environments to make and remake the physical and digital worlds -- in museums and libraries. Read More

21st Century Skills podcast

August 11, 2010 03:54 PM
In this podcast, Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel explains: 1) What are 21st century skills? 2) Where did the 21st century skills movement come from? 3) Where do museums and libraries fit in the 21st century skills movement? Semmel also describes Making the Learning Connection, IMLS’s national campaign to better understand the opportunities, challenges, and key issues facing today’s museums and libraries in their efforts to meet their communities’ 21st century learning needs. The campaign includes an eight-city workshop tour, a national contest, new online tools and resources, and a series of interactive webinars. Read More