In 2008, Lauren Monroe founded Worcester Think Tank to provide a hands-on learning space for youth ages 8 to 17. With a small group of instructors, the center quickly became known for offering classes that uniquely tackled subjects like science, history, art, and literature. After a few years, Think Tank developed a strong reputation as both a homeschool and after school resource center that offered programs not commonly found in public schools. Classes like Lauren Monroe's Crime Scene Investigation taught how to employ chemistry as a means to investigate staged crime scenes. Jennifer Vaughan's Modern History engaged students in movement and reenactment while exploring historical persons and events. James Kidd developed Problem Solving in Minecraft, where students studied Boolean algebra through video game mechanisms. Adam Zelny guided students through sound physics experiments and soldering techniques while assembling the Drawdio synthesizer in Science of Sound. And Jen Swan consistently brought colorful art in all shapes and forms into the students lives, often in tandem with Lauren's scientific teachings.
As Think Tank continued to grow, Lauren embraced opportunities to work with other organizations. Off site programs visited local libraries and schools, and instructors collaborated with the EcoTarium science and nature museum. Internships were cultivated with the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the Dynamy gap year program. Joe Forjette helped develop the Curiostiy Hacked afterschool program which brought students and parents together to work on tech-based projects in an open lab environment. About two years ago, Think Tank began to collaborate with Technocopia, a local makerspace just a neighborhood away. This relationship soon blossomed into a full time collaboration, leading us to today, where Think Tank and Technocopia operate in a new shared space in downtown Worcester. With each step we have defined our space as an education center that goes beyond the conventional classroom. It has become a community hub for students, parents, and instructors seeking to share their passions. It is a place that recognizes the progressive value of collaboration, not just between students, but also between teachers, administrators, and the organizations they help drive forward.