GEMS World Academy Chicago

On February 1, 2016, GEMS World Academy Chicago began Project Empathy as a Service Learning Project for their 7th grade class (read their announcement here). That entire process was documented by Project Empathy, GEMS teachers, and the 7th graders themselves to give others who might wish to follow them a guide on how to do so.

We tried a lot of different things during the Spring semester and ultimately created the Project Empathy curriculum as a result of what worked and what didn't.


See the course in Canvas

Course materials the were used are posted here with varying degrees of public visibility.

GEMS Student Podcast

Listen to the podcasts produced by GEMS students documenting their work on Project Empathy.

Project Empathy blog

Read the updates on each week of the 7th grade class at GEMS, posted by Project Empathy, GEMS staff, and students.


Field Study at Outernet HQ

February 1, 2016

The first week of Project Empathy with GEMS Chicago 7th grade was a visit to Outernet headquarters in Chicago. The purpose was to provide an exciting introduction to the weeks ahead.

Outernet operates the satellite fleet that delivers content to places without Internet. Project Empathy began as an Outernet initiative before being spun off as its own non-profit focused on education. The visit to Outernet's offices gave students a taste for entrepreneurship, Raspberry Pi, and how Internet access is distributed around the world.

Hardware and Raspberry Pi

February 8 + 22, 2016

 Hear the Podcast!

Hear the Podcast!


The second two weeks of Project Empathy - broken up by mid-winter break - introduced the students to hardware, particularly Raspberry Pi. During the field study at Outernet HQ, the students saw several applications of Raspberry Pi in prototypes and product development. This module was their chance to begin tinkering.

Intellectual Property

February 29, 2016

Overview of the basics of Intellectual Property.

Human Universals

March 7, 2016

 Hear the Podcast!

Hear the Podcast!


Students led a discussion on "human universals" based on assigned reading. They also worked on the production of Episode 2 of the podcast. Coming soon (updated 6/22/16)

Skyping with Carl in Malawi

March 14, 2016

Coming soon (updated 6/22/16)


March 16 + 23, 2016

 See a piece of original content created by students.

See a piece of original content created by students.


With all the fundamentals for becoming a Project Empathy editor, it was time to brainstorm exactly what to send from space.

Content Review with Malawi

April 14, 2016

After sending content via Project Empathy satellites, students had a chance to get feedback on the material they had sent.

Future of Project Empathy

May 2, 2016

Skype with Project EcoGrid

May 10, 2016