3 youth makers we met at the Digital Harbor Foundation's end-of-semester showcase - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jun. 12, 2015 2:16 pm

3 youth makers we met at the Digital Harbor Foundation’s end-of-semester showcase

Lydia Randall, Mekai Williams and Lye Simmons each schemed something up and made something great.

At the Digital Harbor Foundation showcase.

(Photo by Keisha Reed)

The Digital Harbor Foundation spent the winter and spring helping kids learn the fundamentals of everything from circuitry to blogging.

The nonprofit’s courses — Maker Foundations (for middle- and high-school students) and Mini Makers (for 1st- and 2nd-graders) — culminated with projects driven by student interest.

“The kids’ projects are chosen by them, they create things based on their passions,” said DHF Executive Director Andrew Coy, explaining what makes the programs unique.

That sentiment was shared by most, if not all, of the students who presented at the programs’ end-of-semester showcase.

Here are three students who shined during the showcase:

1. Lydia Randall
Lydia Randall. (Photo by Keisha Reed)

Lydia Randall. (Photo by Keisha Reed)

  • Randall hadn’t heard of the Makey Makey device before she was accepted to participate in Digital Harbor’s after-school makerspace program. She was just excited to show off the things she had learned outside the classroom. A student of the Baltimore Design School, Randall learned of the program from her teacher. “She told me about a program where I could take my designs to the next level,” she said. Randall presented her creation, a scratch-based game that she controlled with a unique T-shirt design that included aluminum sheets, copper and duct tape. After the program, Randall hopes to use the Makey Makey device more and eventually become an interior designer.
2. Mekai Williams
Mekai Williams. (Photo by Keisha Reed)

Mekai Williams. (Photo by Keisha Reed)

  • Williams created a 3D-printed model of what he calls his “Mech Team.” Using what he learned about 3D printing and the Makey Makey, he created three models of the team that reacted to the aluminum element in a headband he created this semester. Williams also implemented scratch technology in his project to enhance and upgrade the experience. Mekai’s future plans include game creation and more 3D printing and design.
3. Lye Simmons
Lye Simmons. (Photo by Keisha Reed)

Lye Simmons. (Photo by Keisha Reed)

  • Simmons built an Apple keyboard with the Makey Makey device paired with aluminum elements that triggered the sounds on his laptop. Soundplant, a program that turns a keyboard into a playable instrument, enabled Simmons to attach sounds to his movements on the keyboard.

Digital Harbor Foundation programs are all “pay what you can” and include both summertime and school-year programs for youth in 1st through 12th grade.

Next up for DHF is the start of its summer programming. Ultimate Family Make Night on June 16 will allow families to visit the center and choose between 3-5 projects to work on as a unit. DHF will also be attending the National Maker Faire in Washington, D.C. June 13-14.

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