After-school programs in 3D printing and computer programming at the Digital Harbor Tech Center in Federal Hill will now be open to elementary and middle school students this fall, the result of two new partnerships forged by the nonprofit Digital Harbor Foundation, which oversees the tech center.
- Code in the Schools, which Technically Baltimore has covered, teaches students the fundamentals of computer programming by having them design their own computer games.
- FutureMakers teaches “Maker 101” skills, such as woodworking, basic electronics, digital fabrication and more, to elementary-aged students.
One half of the tech center will be reserved for these programs, which run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., from Monday through Thursday.
- Mondays and Wednesdays are for students in sixth through eighth grades.
- Tuesdays are for first- and second-grade students.
- Thursdays are reserved for students in third through fifth grades.
The other half of the tech center will be reserved for high school students, an age group that has been the main focus of the Digital Harbor Tech Center since its opening in January. High school students enrolled in a 12-week “Maker Foundations” course will spend every weekday after school at the tech center learning many of the same skills the Digital Harbor Foundation has taught students during its summer MakerCamps: 3D printing, computer programming, web development and beginning electronics.
Given its proximity to Digital Harbor High School, the tech center has become something of a hang-out for Digital Harbor High students. Andrew Coy, executive director of the Digital Harbor Foundation, said he hopes to make the tech center more inclusive this fall by reaching out to high schools — think: Western High School, Baltimore PolyTechnic and the Academy for College and Career Exploration — located near Light Rail and Circulator bus lines.
While the after-school high school program is free, the elementary and middle school programs will cost “around $100 per month,” said Coy, or about “$4 to $8 per hour” for one student.
There is one additional perk, Coy said, courtesy of the Family League of Baltimore: hot meals for all students each weekday.
Registration, fees and application information is available at digitalharbor.org/techcenter.