Fall Programs Announced at Digital Harbor Tech Center

| August 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

Digital Harbor Foundation Release:

The Rebirth of a Rec Center:

Digital Harbor Foundation Announces Fall Programs at the DHF Tech Center

New Partnerships To Expand Program Offerings

digitalharbor-150x150Baltimore, Md. (August 28, 2013) – The Digital Harbor Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering innovation, tech advancement, and entrepreneurship by helping youth develop digital age skills through maker activities and tech workforce development, is pleased to announce new partnerships with Code in the Schools and FutureMakers for programming this Fall at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center.

“A year ago, the South Baltimore Recreation Center was falling apart and slated to be closed by the city” said Andrew Coy, Executive Director of the Digital Harbor Foundation. “Thanks to tremendous support from the Tech Community, the Federal Hill neighborhood, Baltimore City Public Schools, the Abell Foundation, the DHF Board of Trustees, and countless others, we were able to do more than just save this space — we have completely re-imaged what a Rec Center could be in today’s technology-infused world and created a Tech Center as an innovative lab of opportunities for youth. Now those opportunities are expanding even further.”

The South Baltimore Recreation Center was one of the more than two dozen city-owned recreation centers closed last year by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The space, along with five other closing recreation centers, was turned over to Baltimore City Public Schools. The Digital Harbor Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity separate from the school system, partnered with City Schools as the sole operator of the former rec center, working closing with Digital Harbor High School and Federal Hill Prep Elementary School. The grand opening of the space occurred in January of this year and had more than 300 people in attendance. Since that time hundreds of youth have participated in the Tech Center’s high-tech programs, learning skill such as web or mobile app development, 3D printing, circuits, and building/flying quadcopters.

“Young makers with big ideas crave opportunities to build and experiment – but rarely get to make “stuff” in school-time settings that satisfies their curiosity” said Matt Barinholtz, Founder of FutureMakers. “At our programs in the Tech Center this fall, elementary-aged students will experience the whole range of “Maker 101” skills – drawing plans, woodworking, sewing and printing, plastic and foam fabrication, take-aparts and circuit bending, elementary electronics, basic programming and modeling, digital fabrication and even physical computing. We’re confident parents will be impressed by each wiggling, rolling, flying, functional and fantastic thing their child bring home – and may want to learn how to make it themselves!”

The biggest thing these young makers will be making for themselves is a career path into high-demand technology fields in local STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) industries that desperately need more high-qualified workers right here in the Greater Baltimore region, which recently ranked fifth in the list of Best Cities For Tech Jobs in 2012 by Forbes Magazine.

“This partnership will open real opportunities to the middle school students we are teaching to code” said Gretchen LeGrand, Executive Director of the new non-profit, Code in the Schools. “Nationally, as well are right here in our back yard, there are far more tech jobs than qualified applicants. Yet, what courses, pathways, and opportunities exist to help inner city Baltimore youth find their way into these high-paying careers of tomorrow? We are excited to be working in partnership with the Digital Harbor Foundation to fill that gap!”

The partnerships with FutureMakers and Code in the Schools will extend the programs offered at the Tech Center to serve students of from first through twelve. After-school programs from 3 to 6pm will be run out of one half of the Tech Center for middle school youth on Mondays and Wednesdays and for elementary aged youth on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other half of the Tech Center will run two cohorts of high school aged youth exploring and developing tech workforce skills as they survey all of the offerings of the Tech Center in a “Maker Foundations” 12-week course.

Details, registration fees, and the application process is all available online at digitalharbor.org/techcenter. Registration for all ages is now open but space is limited.

Additionally, as recently announced, the Digital Harbor Foundation received funding this summer by the MacArthur Foundation’s DML Competition Project:Connect to run a WebSlam beginning September 16th, which will teach students the basics of HTML, CSS, and PHP through developing the WordPress platform over a two week period. At the end of the WebSlam, students will take what they have learned to build a website for a non-profit. For more information and to sign up as a youth participant, a non-profit, or a tech coach, please visit the event’s website: http://www.webslam.org.

 

About The Digital Harbor Foundation:

The Digital Harbor Foundation is a non-profit organization located in Baltimore City dedicated to fostering innovation, tech advancement, and entrepreneurship by helping youth develop digital age skills through maker activities and tech workforce development. In 2013, DHF was proud to re-open one of Baltimore City’s closed Rec Centers as the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center.

To learn more, visit http://www.digitalharborfoundation.org/

About Code in the Schools

Code in the Schools is a non-profit corporation inspired by the NYC non-profit “Chess in the Schools” and the “Code.org” initiative. Learning to code fosters creative expression while at the same time imparting concretely applicable job skills.

To learn more, visit: http://www.codeintheschools.org/

 

About FutureMakers

FutureMakers is a growing community of visiting experts and educators who coach young makers in K – 8 learning spaces across the Baltimore and D.C. metro areas.

To learn more, visit http://www.kidsmakethingsbetter.com/

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News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.
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