Crowdsourced 3D parts and death were just some of the topics presented at Ignite Baltimore #15 late last week. Sixteen technologists, artists and thinkers took on a sold-out crowd at the Brown Center at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
At Ignite Baltimore, speakers tackle big topics of discussion in five minutes while slides automatically advance every 15 seconds.
Here are some highlights from this edition of the always lively event:
- Courage to Code. Brigitte Warner, a former math and technology teacher in Baltimore city schools, was empowered by completing the Back-end Web Development course at Betamore. She spoke about the power of learning to code and about recently taking a developer position at edtech startup Allovue.
- Education Reimagined. Digital Harbor Foundation director Andrew Coy drew the comparison of schools being factories and the need to prepare the next generation to excel in the digital age. “The internet was built by people who didn’t go to school to learn how to build the internet,” he said.
- Meditating (Healthily) on Your Own Death. Steve Intlekofer has had three brushes with death and has learned that it is inevitable. “Embrace life. There is nothing to lose,” he said. It’s so simple, but too often we forget.
- Gaining Freedom Without a Car. Aaron Brazell, whom we recently spoke with about the state of city’s tech scene, told the Ignite crowd that life is way better without a car. He said he learned and grew as a person as a result of ditching his.
- Crowdsourced 3D Printing. Todd Blatt took on the project of printing 3D busts of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington (which you can see here). Parts were shipped to him from all over the world to bring his idea to fruition.
- Why LGBT History Matters. Sarah Prager created Quist, a mobile app about LGBT history, so others could know they’re not alone because of their sexuality.
- C’mon Ride that Train! How the RED LINE could make Charm City better for us All. Rodney C. Burris said that improving the transit system in Baltimore would not only open us up to new sources of revenue and population growth, but also cut down on “city envy.”
- We don’t need another inner city African American Male teacher. Chip Dizard is a Digital Harbor High School media and technology teacher who fell into teaching by accident and has grown to love it. Just 2 percent of the teaching workforce consists of African-American males, he said. Dizard stressed the importance of supporting men and recruitment.
- What on Earth is a Mainframe? Sam Knutson says mainframes rule the world. From the planes and trains we fly on each day to the point of sale machines that run our local coffee shops, mainframes are everywhere.
- The Peekskill Riots at 65. David Drager, native son of Peekskill, N.Y., eloquently told the history of the Peekskill Riots, Paul Robeson being blacklisted for his involvement in them and the small town’s ’60s-era shame.
- Disabled Design: A Challenge for a New “Space Race.” Joe Olson stressed how assisted technology needs to be brought to the forefront. We can no longer wait for the next disabled genius to push forward the agenda of better technology for the disabled, he said.
- Microfractures in the Cycle of Child Abuse. Dan Dutrow presented on the cycle of child abuse, its effects on children as they mature and Camp Opportunity, a sleep-away camp for at-risk youth in Maryland.
- Radical Redemption: Prison Hospice. Kristin Metzger, an inpatient nurse at Gilchrist Hospice Care, explained how prison hospice care is an often overlooked piece of the healthcare system. She’s seen firsthand how it has changed the lives of some of the hardest criminals.
- Surrealism: The art movement that still lives in our collective conscious. Monica Lopez-Gonzalez merged art and science in a moving talk on the topic of surrealism in art, film and life.
Monica Lopez-Gonzalez was awarded the Ignition Grant for her project “BMore en español: Contemporary Spanish-language Film Festival.”