WHYY Media Labs Program

WHYY’s Media Labs program is a media instruction partnership with the School District of Philadelphia. Over the course of three years, WHYY has engaged about 4,000 students in 28 schools throughout Philadelphia in hands-on media arts training through the program.

Participating students learn video and audio production, critical thinking, STEM education skills, problem solving, research, develop a strong sense of self-efficacy and are better prepared for a wide variety of workplaces. Students also learn valuable life skills like how to work in teams, how to plan projects, and how to solve difficult problems. An independent assessment conducted by Research for Better Schools (RBS) on Year 2 of this project showed that the program builds important academic and life skills that will serve students well in future education and career endeavors.


A WHYY media instructor runs an after-school documentary or news workshop at each school, teaching students to tell stories about topics that concern them. The instructor also brings WHYY’s tried and true teacher professional development to school, training educators to use media production as a tool in their classrooms.

Teachers trained to use media arts in the classroom through this program are better able to foster student engagement, provide richer, project-based learning and can incorporate the STEM approach across subject area.

WHYY’s Media Lab program was made possible by a lead grant from the William Penn Foundation. Additional grants have been awarded for this project from the following funders to-date: Horner Foundation; Corporation for Public Broadcasting American Graduate Initiative; Samuel S. Fels Fund; Margaret G. Jacobs Charitable Trust; David Fund; American Airlines; Hamilton Family Foundation; Patriarch Foundation, The McLean Contributionship; The Tuttleman Family Foundation; Bank of America; The Lenfest Foundation; M&T Bank, Zeldin Family Foundation, Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, Leo Model Foundation, Philadelphia Cultural Fund Youth Arts Enrichment Program, and GSK.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

50% of WHYY’s funding comes from donations made by people just like you.