More important than any tech skill students can learn is a “willingness to dive in and figure it out,” says Rose Burt, the tech director for the Digital Harbor Foundation who will be running the foundation’s Rec2Tech Center located at the intersection of Light and Cross streets in Federal Hill.
It’s something Burt is familiar with, having studied classical saxophone during her undergraduate years at Johns Hopkins’ Peabody Institute before earning a master’s degree at Peabody in digital music. Now, at the helm of the soon-to-open Rec2Tech Center, Burt’s job is to work with kindergarten through 12th grade students on developing skills most needed in today’s tech industry.
Rose Burt on how she went from studying saxophone to running a tech center:
Burt spoke about her work at the Rec2Tech Center at Digital Harbor Foundation’s EdTech Meetup on Monday night. The center will guide students through a weekly, project-focused curriculum: each week students will work on a new project, be it data visualization, computer coding, building circuits, 3D projects and more. Each day (the center will be open daily) features something different:
- Monday: Guest presenters will give talks on a variety of topics.
- Tuesday: Students will do research and design a prototype of the project for the week.
- Wednesday and Thursday: Two days devoted solely to “making things,” as Burt put it in her presentation at the EdTech Meetup.
- Friday: The day for “peer feedback” and “documentation,” which entails students keeping an online blog and portfolio of the work they’ve completed.
The Rec2Tech Center will use a badging system to keep track of skills students have learned. In addition, students will have the opportunity to work on projects associated with the Digital Harbor Foundation’s STEM League. The point of the league is to train students to fill jobs in one of four areas — fab (short for fabrication, think: CNC milling machines, or stuff similar to what the SparkTruck had Baltimore school students do), web (design), mobile (design and app-building) and cyber (as in, cybersecurity) — within Baltimore city’s tech industry.
“Right here in Baltimore, there’s a new innovation generation being born,” says Shelly Blake-Plock, co-executive director of the Digital Harbor Foundation.
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