Civic News
Education / Media / STEM / Youth

Digital Ready ‘Maker Party’ preps kids on electronics skills

The program works with ten schools to increase student exposure to technology and improve their college readiness. Here's what was built.

Nazela and Arita of "Mouse Squad," demo'ing their Jeopardy! game. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Scores of students moved in waves around the NYU Media And Games Network (MAGNET) space on Wednesday. They were there to look at what other students had done and show off some of what they could do after taking part in Digital Ready, a program that aims to increase student exposure to technology and improve their college readiness.

Nazela and Arita, shown above, were members of the “Mouse Squad,” a program organized by the Brooklyn College Community Partnership (BCCP). They were demo’ing their own version of Jeopardy!, one they built from some adapted code and for which they also wrote all the questions. They said they wanted to test what their classmates knew about.

Song writing demo by Brooklyn College Community Partnership

Song writing demo by Brooklyn College Community Partnership. (Photo by Brady Dale)

This song-writing demo was one that would surge with activity from time to time. It was another project of the BCCP.

Description of game in progress, "Minimum Rage."

Description of a game in development, “Minimum Rage.” (Photo by Brady Dale)

Sara Vogel of Global Kids program “Grow A Game,” which teaches children about social issues through game-making, introduced us to two of the students behind the game outlined above, about organizing workers in a fast food restaurant to strike for better wages.

Students travel to the group’s Kip’s Bay office to take part in the program. We met Shamach, of Brooklyn, and Adrian, of the Bronx, who are building the game together. They explained it works by the player approaching other workers and choosing how aggressively or nicely to talk to them about striking for better pay.

Stop Motion animation by Amanda Long, teaching artist at BRIC

Stop-motion animation by Amanda Long, teaching artist at BRIC. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Jill Beale, a manager at BRIC working in youth education, explained that the group was showing some of the work of teaching artist Amanda Long. Long was also there that night, showing students the basics of stop-motion animation. Beale explained that the technique on display drew from the pioneering work of animator Lotte Reiniger.

“For me, what’s most important is having a contemporary artist sharing her craft in these schools,” Beale told us.

Prototype of "Current Translation" by Brett Van Aalsburg

Prototype of “Current Translation” by Brett Van Aalsburg. (Photo by Brady Dale)

This is a follow up item for us. You can see here a detail from the prototype for “Current Translation,” designed by artist Brett Van Aalsburg, and built with the help of team of 11 students at Brooklyn International High School. We wrote about the launch of the program here.

Brian Cohen, cofounder of the Beam Center, said it was a program to begin giving students ideas about the kind of work they could do and what they could make.

Mozilla Webmaker Demo

Mozilla Webmaker demo. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Lainie DeCoursy, communications manager at the Mozilla Webmaker Community Team, wrote us about the evening, “Digital Ready is led by the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Post Secondary Readiness and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Many of the nonprofit partners are part of Mozilla Hive NYC, a community of educators working to advance connected learning, web literacy and digital skills. This event is also a lead-in to Mozilla’s Maker Party, a global campaign that celebrates making and learning. Last year there were more than 1,700 events in 330 cities.”

Companies: BRIC / Brooklyn College / Beam Center / Mozilla
Series: Brooklyn

Join the conversation!

Find news, events, jobs and people who share your interests on's open community Slack

Technically Media