Introducing DALI x Bates!

DALI x Bates is an exciting new collaboration between Bates and the Digital Applied Learning and Innovation (DALI) Lab at Dartmouth College. For over ten years, the DALI Lab has trained Dartmouth students in the software engineering and design skills required to develop digital products for real world partners. Now for the first time, they are bringing their student training and development model to students outside their home campus, which means Bates! 

At Dartmouth, the DALI Lab features a small professional staff and a large cadre of students, making it a mostly student-led initiative. For the pilot project at Bates, experienced DALI students are offering training modules for Bates students to skill up in web development and design. Once trained, our students will become part of a consulting corps, working in teams to apply their skills to digital projects undertaken in collaboration with nonprofit organizations in the Lewiston/Auburn community. As fellows, students will complete at least one collaborative project by the time they graduate from Bates.

The first-ever cohort of DALI x Bates Fellows started their first virtual training module in mid-January. The Mini Web Development Course is designed to teach the art of full-stack web development. Participants are learning how to build interactive web applications, diving into the world of HTML/CSS, React, Github, Node/Express, styling, and more. The training involves synchronous work via Zoom and several additional hours of work each week, including help sessions, meetings with mentors, and other activities. Bates and Dartmouth students are attending the synchronous sessions together.

In addition to the trainings, Bates participants will attend monthly cohort meetings during their remaining time at Bates to learn new skills, build their knowledge of community engagement and the local community, discuss prospective projects, reflect on learnings from past projects, and learn about additional training opportunities. During their later years at Bates, they will help coach and support newer members of the corps. The inaugural cohort of Bates participants includes ten first- and second-year students with diverse interests and backgrounds.

Professor Carissa Aoki of the Bates Environmental Studies program, who has worked with the DALI Lab in the past, brokered the partnership between the DALI Lab at Dartmouth and the Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates. Professors Anelise Shrout (Digital and Computational Studies) and Francis Eanes (Environmental Studies) are additional key collaborators at Bates. Professors Aoki, Shrout, and Eanes are all serving as Bonner Faculty Fellows at the Harward Center this year, focused on building out the DALI-Bates relationship. We are grateful for their partnership, for the enthusiasm and talent of our student participants, for the support of the Bonner Foundation, and for the generosity of our new DALI colleagues. We look forward to the evolution of this exciting new program for Bates and the Lewiston-Auburn community!