Highlights From Family Make Night: Digital Postcards

Each month we host an event where local families can come and work on a maker themed project. We’ve had great success with this in the past and when we became a host site for Mozilla’s Maker Party initiative, we began to brainstorm a fun way to integrate Mozilla’s tools within the framework of Family Make Night. We decided that Popcorn Maker would be a fun, interactive choice to spread web literacy. We settled on the theme of digital postcards with the idea that families could create content based on what they did over the summer.


Families were encouraged to bring summer photos and videos to make a completely custom postcard to share with family and friends. We didn’t want lack of media content to be a barrier of entry, so we put together a small collection of videos and photos of local attractions that families could use for their postcard.


Two of our members, Amiri and Darius, volunteered to help our guests with any technical questions. They both did an excellent job and it was great to see our youth confidently assisting in the session. As this Family Make Night was more technically demanding than previous workshops, it was great to have the additional help!



Our guests had a varying range of web expertise, but found that Popcorn Maker was intuitive and fun to use. We had the attending families tag their projects with “DHF-FMN” so that they could see and share with other guests. Everyone was excited to finish their projects and send their postcards to family and friends! As families were leaving the space, we heard them mention that they want to continue to explore everything that Popcorn Maker has to offer!


As the night came to a close, families were eager to share their completed projects. Many of the attendees wanted to continue working on their projects when they got home,excited to be able to further explore their new Popcorn Maker expertise! We provided access to our tutorial and source material so that families could continue to create digital postcards once they left the center.


We had a great time seeing everyone engaged in the activity and really exploring the strength of Popcorn Maker. It was exciting to be able to integrate the Mozilla Webmaker initiative into our Family Make Night this month.

Check out all the great postcards from the night!


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Seeking Volunteers to Lead Technology Workshops

Hey there! Have you ever wanted to get involved here at DHF? Do you have a skill-set or profession in Graphic Design, App Development, 3D Design, Systems, or Web Development or some other technology?  Now is your chance to get involved in DHF by leading a workshop for our youth! We are interested in a broad range of workshops dealing with all sorts of technology and maker skills. Our program runs each weekday from 4-6pm at the Tech Center located in Federal Hill. We are looking for adults who are interested in sharing what they know with a dedicated and intelligent group of youth who aspire to gain new skills.


Below is a list of some of the possible workshop topics and desired categories, but if you have a workshop idea you would like to share, please don’t feel limited to what is listed here:

Email iman@digitalharbor.org if you are interested in leading a workshop for our youth at the Tech Center.

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Tutorial: Create a Digital Postcard!

Tonight you’ll be using Popcorn Maker, a multimedia creation tool developed by Mozilla as part of their Webmaker initiative. We’ll be creating a digital postcard that highlights the best parts of your summer by combining photos, audio, and video which can then be easily shared with family and friends. If you’ve brought your own photos and video you’re free to use those as your media material tonight. If not we’ve put together a collection of summer themed photos and videos that you can use to learn this fun tool!

Note: Clicking these screenshots will open a larger version in a separate browser tab.

Popcorn Maker Main


What You Will Need:

1. Computer with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. You’re free to use one of our Macbook Air laptops!

2. Webmaker account. We’ll walk through the sign-up, don’t worry!

3. Source videos and photos. If you’ve brought your own, that’s great. If not, we’ve provided several samples you can use.


1. Navigate to Popcorn Maker and click the ‘Sign In‘ button in the top right.

Popcorn Maker


Screen shot 2014-09-03 at 2.02.18 PM


2. If you’ve brought your own media to upload, there are two additional steps to complete. If you’re going to use our content, jump to Step 3.

3. Popcorn Maker is split into three parts. The playback, the media layers, and the media browser.

Popcorn Maker-2

4. In the media browser, you’ll see a tab that says ‘+ Events‘ Events are any media other than video, which is managed in the Media tab. Here you can add Text, Popups, Images, and many other things. A lot of the fun comes from experimenting with these Events!

Popcorn Maker-3


Adding Images:

1. To quickly add images, navigate to the ‘Image‘ button in the Events tab. You’ll have two options for linking pictures: drag and drop or image url.

Popcorn Maker-5


Adding Video:

1. Now we’re ready to begin bringing video into Popcorn Maker! You can make an awesome postcard using just Events, but you can also quickly add video. We’ve put together a list of summer themed photos and videos that you’re free to use as additional material for your project. These links can be found on this page after the instructions.

Adding Layers:

1. You create the content of your postcard by layering the events and media on top of each other. The project timeline is a guide for you to see where you’re placing the media.

Digital Harbor Foundation Summer Popcorn - Popcorn Maker

This is an example of how I’ve layered the events and video. Some are overlapping and others are next to each other. Play around with the placement of your media to customize your postcard!

These are the basic tools you’ll need to create a great digital postcard! Experiment with the different events and layers!

Sharing Your Postcard:

1. When you’re ready to share, click on the Project tab on the far right.

Popcorn Maker-4


You’re now ready to create fun, custom postcards! The power of Popcorn Maker is the speed with which you can customize your projects, so make sure to experiment with the layout and have fun with the entire process!

Photo and Video Resources:


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Highlights From the Make & Remake Hackathon

The Tech Center had the exciting opportunity to be a Mozilla Maker Party 2014 Partner this summer, and on Friday August 22 we hosted a Make and Remake Hackathon for our Members! We decided on the theme because open sharing and remixing is such a central component of the Webmaker initiative. The event was designed to be a fun and unique challenge for the participants.


Given that openness and creativity were the primary focus, the only requirement for the participants was that they would use Mozilla’s Webmaker Tools to create a project which would then be shared to the group and remixed by another attending participant. The tools allowed for a variety of projects such as interactive video with Popcorn Maker, quick and fun web design with Thimble, and mobile app development with Appmaker. Additionally, a fun resource tool named X-Ray Goggles allowed for users to inspect web source code and remix it with a quick click!


After some instruction on the tools and an overview of the Make & Remake theme, our youth eagerly jumped into the development process. Multiple projects were created in the morning session, and the youth were encouraged to select peer projects to remix even before the afternoon ‘Remake’ phase.


We tweeted and shared to Mozilla throughout the Hackathon and Mozilla was extremely pleased with the content that our youth developed! The youth enjoyed the open sharing aspect of the Hackathon, and the idea of remixing the work of their peers seemed to resonate well.


Amber’s Introduction to Soldering was also a huge success! Throughout the Hackathon, groups of three youth split off to learn to solder. Amber provided an excellent workshop with content that is crucial for youth eager to develop their interests in electronics and soldering.

Our youth greatly enjoyed the day and the Make & Remake Hackathon was definitely a success! The attendees tagged their makes and remakes with “DHF-Make-Remake-Hackathon” so that their work would be easily searchable on the Mozilla Webmaker site. This was a fun day filled with great opportunities to MAKE with Mozilla’s tools, and the participants experimented with aspects of web design that they may not have otherwise attempted.

Here is the link to the collection of youth makes and remakes shared throughout the day:

DHF Make & Remake Hackathon!







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Family Make Night :: Digital Postcards!

Looking for some family fun? Enjoy working on projects together with your family? Join us for our monthly Family Make Night! For September Family Make Night, we will be creating digital postcards of our summer vacations!

Using a digital multimedia tool called Popcorn, each family will make a digital postcard including videos, photos, and audio to highlight the best parts of their summer vacation. Bring along your own photos and videos from summer to make a completely custom postcard to share with your family and friends. Or, if you prefer, we have put together a small collection of videos and photos of local attractions that you can use for your postcard.

While Family Make Night is created for people of all ages, this activity may be more difficult for younger participants, but they can definitely contribute their ideas as one of the teens or adults works the computer. Basic computer skills will do the trick for using this tool! 

This month, we are excited to host Family Make Night as a Mozilla Maker Party event! We’re excited to be partnering with Mozilla to celebrate teaching and learning the web with Maker Party. Through thousands of community-run events around the world, Maker Party unites educators, organizations and enthusiastic Internet users of all ages and skill levels.

September Family Make Night will be held Wednesday, September 3rd at 6:30pm at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center. Family Make Night is FREE to participate, but we do ask that each family (up to 6 people) register ahead of time. More details are available on the Registration page below.

Register Here: www.familymakenight.com

We hope to see you there!

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Make & Remake Hackathon

As a Mozilla Maker Party 2014 Partner, we are excited to be hosting a Make & Remake Hackathon for our Tech Center Members on Friday August 22! Designed to be a fun and engaging event for our Tech Center Members after a summer of hard work on their Star Spangled Summer projects, the Hackathon will be a great end-cap to our summer here at the Tech Center.


The Make and Remake Hackathon is an exciting opportunity to use Mozilla’s Webmaker Tools to MAKE something awesome – a web page, an app, or an interactive video! But, that’s not all! A unique challenge to this Hackathon is to turn your completed project over to a friend so they can then REMAKE your project to create something new!

Participants will work in the morning session to create a digital project using the Webmaker tools. In the afternoon session, everyone will swap projects with someone else to remix and remake the project into something new!

This Hackathon is sure to be fun for everyone and the perfect opportunity to learn something new with some easy to use digital tools!



As an added bonus to this all day Hackathon event, Amber will be leading her Intro to Soldering Workshop throughout the day. For Members who are interested in learning to solder or pursuing electronics projects in the future, this workshop is a MUST-DO!


Join us for the Introduction to Soldering workshop and make your very own blinky robot wearable! This workshop will introduce you to the basics of using a soldering iron, through-hole joints on a printed circuit board, and potential troubleshooting. After completing this workshop, you will have soldered your very own blinky robot wearable. This workshop also covers many of the requirements for the Soldering Badge that can be earned with a little extra work after completing this workshop.


Sign Up Today!

Members – we will need a count of who is planning to attend! To sign up for Friday’s awesome events – the Make & Remake Hackathon and/or the Introduction to Soldering workshop – please visit the Eventbrite page and follow the steps to register there: http://goo.gl/1XeuuO

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Meet our AmeriCorps Maker VISTAs

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Iman Cuffie – Maker Ed Development & Communications Specialist VISTA

Hey there! My name is Iman and I graduated from Western High School in 2014 and now attend the University of Baltimore for Visual Communications.  I’m on the Board of Directors for the Youth Dreamers, a 501C3 non-profit focused on providing the youth of Baltimore with opportunities and resources to better themselves and become positively involved in their community and gain important life skills.  Previous to this position, I taught art at a local youth summer camp.

I first became involved with Digital Harbor Foundation through my participation in FabSlam, a 3D design/printing competition held at the Tech Center. As the Development and Communications Specialist under Maker Ed,  it’s my job to raise funds for the center through constructive fundraising activities and the use of social media. I’m ecstatic to be working at DHF because the organization prides itself on moving youth forward in the world and being able to provide a sort of haven where youth can express themselves and learn something new, something I’ve always been passionate about.

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Melissa Huch – Maker Ed Expansion Coordinator VISTA

My name is Melissa Huch, I recently earned my Bachelor’s Degree from Frostburg State University. My major was Liberal Studies, where I focused primarily in Kinesiology and in Athletic Coaching. In college I was involved in three organizations, Alpha Sigma Tau, Sigma Alpha Pi, and the Pre-Med Society.

I am excited to start a new chapter in my life and proud to be part of the AmeriCorps Vista and Maker Ed family, here at Digital Harbor Foundation. I chose to be a VISTA because I believe they can give me the resources I need to succeed not only in my community but professionally.  My role as Expansion Coordinator will focus on capacity building for the Center of Excellence and throughout this year I hope to make the Center of Excellence accessible to anyone who wants to discover a new outlook on teaching. I also hope in a year to be able to increase the number of STEM educators which in return will strengthen STEM education for Baltimore City students.

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Star Spangled Summer Showcase Preview

The Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center MegaLab has been brimming with excitement this summer as Tech Center Members shared the space with the Maker Camp participants. As August is upon us, we’re pleased to announce that the Star Spangled Summer Showcase is approaching! Make sure to join us at the Tech Center on Wednesday August 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 to share in the amazing summer projects our Members have completed. Without giving too much away, here is a preview of some of their exciting ventures!

Tony has been researching Fort McHenry with the intent of creating it in Minecraft. He is excitedly planning the geometry and architecture of the space and is enjoying rendering it in his server.

John‘s project also involves mapping Fort McHenry. He is recreating it in Tinkercad and then 3d printing several pieces, which will be assembled to create the iconic structure.

Nick W. has been doing his own sort of research as he is making a Fort McHenry/Star Spangled trivia game in Javascript.

Aidan is putting his animation and video skills to the test as he is crafting a special secret introduction for the Showcase.

Ben is furthering his experiments with the Raspberry Pi, and is working on a prototype of voice activated glasses with custom designed, 3d printed frames.


Our summer youth employees, Sierra, Darius, and Markeese, have an exciting game that they’ve been eagerly planning and making throughout the summer. The details have been tightly guarded as they’re building anticipation before the big reveal on the 20th.

Bella is thrilled to be presenting a final version of Monkey Mayhem, hot off the shelves of the iPhone App Store! She’s diligently made adjustments and tweaked the code to bring it to this level and has been working on details and polish.


After presenting his “World Traveler” game at the Spring Showcase, Nick F. started learning the Corona SDK and will be showing the introductory stage of his new game, “Fuse.”

Nick C., another Digital Harbor Foundation summer employee, has spent the last month analyzing the Tech Center to the smallest detail and rendering it in a virtual world for an exciting interactive tour game!

Amiri is expanding on his interests in sound related technology, and is assembling a Drawdio musical pencil. Those attending the Showcase will be able to experiment with musical doodles!

Samuel is reprising his Iron Man Operation game and adding some new features! He’s updating cosmetic features and adding secret tweaks that will no doubt bring back great (and frustrating) memories of the classic game.

Interactive tech is a consistent project theme, as Glory is creating a photo booth with an awesome spin- it’s powered by high fives!

Sam is interested in bringing some “fireworks” to the space, and is creating a confetti cannon that will launch red, white, and blue confetti.

Biren is working on “Card Magnet,” a box that plays a song when someone drops in their business card. With this idea, Biren aims to provide a card drop for Digital Harbor Foundation that has a unique, tech spin.


Many of the youth projects share a gaming theme and we know that the Summer Showcase will be action packed and an exciting conclusion to the summer. If you’re interested in attending, please feel free to tell your friends and RSVP at the Meetup.com link below!

Star Spangled Summer Youth Showcase

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014, 6:30 PM

Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center
1045 Light Street Baltimore, MD

80 Makers Went

Come celebrate the amazing work of youth in programs at the Digital Harbor Foundation’s Tech Center!This summer our youth have been hard at work on some more amazing projects! Some of them have been working to create projects based on the theme surrounding Baltimore’s Star Spangled Summer in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of our National Ant…

Check out this Meetup →


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50 for 50 — Benefit Birthday

km-bday-3A few weeks ago a friend of the Digital Harbor Foundation gave us a birthday gift for his birthday. Ken Malone, whose whole family has been a great advocate for the DHF Tech Center and our programs, turned 50. In the place of letting any one of his many friends give him any gifts though, he organized a benefit birthday celebration up at Betamore, encouraging folks:

km-bday-logoJoin us for heavy appetizers and drinks to support one of his favorite non-profits, Digital Harbor Foundation, where they are creating the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

and added:

Absolutely no presents! However, your donation to Digital Harbor Foundation is greatly appreciated. Stick with the theme of $50 for 50 years or make a custom donation.

Folks were MORE than generous and in total donated nearly $1,500 to support youth and programs here at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center!

Thank you Ken, family, and friends!! We really appreciate it!