Good News!!! The Smart Chicago team is moving and now will be co-located with the City Digital Team at UI Labs. As such, our individual emails will be changing to:

Kyla Williams 

Sonja Marziano

Denise Linn     

Leslie Durr       

Our new mailing address is 1415 N. Cherry Avenue Chicago, IL 60642 and general phone number is 312.281.6900.

Please check our website at or follow us on twitter @smartchicago for more updates.

We appreciate your patience during this time of transition.

The Adler Hacks for Youth during National Day of Civic Hacking

At the OpenGov Hack Night on June 4th 2014, Mikva Challenge and the Adler Planetarium presented the projects that came out of the National Day of Civic Hacking at the Adler Planetarium. The group of teens worked on a number of issues including an app that helps homeless LGTB youth find resources and look up student codes of conduct.

OpenGov Hack Night #108

The Adler Planetarium and Mikva Challenge have been working together all year hosting different events and coming up with issue briefs about youth owned problems. These topics included:

The group also built a number of apps during National Day of Civic Hacking. Here’s the team talking about their apps below:

App Ideas: 

  • Scoogle: Scoogle is an app that helps students look up their school code of conduct. Not only does this help students understand the code of conduct, but it also helps students understand their rights.
  • Resources for LGBT HomelessAfter learning that over 30% of homeless youth are LGBT, a team created a resource page for LGBT youth to find
  • Grounded: Grounded is an electronic tag that’s intended for students who get in trouble for violence. With the app users have to check in on Instagram every two hours to show where their supervisors where they are.

For more information on Mikva Challenge, you can visit their website at

Hack Night Live:

At tonight’s Chicago OpenGov Hack NightCathy Deng will talk about, a guide to help youth in Cook County erase their juvenile arrest and/or court records through the legal process of juvenile expungement.

Mikva Juvenile Justice Council #CivicSummer Session at Tribeca Flahspoint

Mikva Juvenile Justice Council #CivicSummer Session at Tribeca Flashpoint

Our hack night coverage will start at 6:15 pm Chicago Time on this very blog post.

Mikva Challenge Youth using data to talk about health disparities in Chicago’s neighborhoods

This summer, Mikva Challenge and Smart Chicago Collaborative worked with a group of 140 kids and trained them to use the latest digital tools to organize themselves, amplify their voice, and take positive civic action. On the Mikva side, the work was divided into four different youth councils.

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#CivicSummer Custom Session on Open Technology with the Mikva Aldermanic Fellows

Today Jacqui Cheng and I hosted the Mikva Aldermanic Fellows (“30 youth interning in Chicago aldermanic offices this summer. We are working to bring a larger voice to youth across the city.”) at the Chicago Community Trust.

Here’s a complete set of photos and some highlights of what we covered:

Jacqui reviewed the basics of the Internet, including TCP/IP, as a platform for talking about how open technology and standards can pave the way for innovation:

#CivicSummer Session with Mikva Challenge Aldermanic Fellows

The Trust board room, with its nearly 100-year history of Chicago leadership, provided a great setting for our session:

#CivicSummer Session with Mikva Challenge Aldermanic Fellows

The Aldermanic Fellows are staffed all across the city and come together periodically to share experiences:

#CivicSummer Session with Mikva Challenge Aldermanic Fellows

Vint Cerf looks on as Jacqui enlightens:

#CivicSummer Session with Mikva Challenge Aldermanic Fellows

I covered lots of examples of civic technology that helps Aldermen serve constituents, including Open311 and the yet-to-be published Chicago Works For You.

DXO and the Mikva Aldermanic Fellows

Here’s the presentation we used to guide our time together: