Thank You for Seven Years

Over the past 7 years a lot has changed at the Digital Harbor Foundation, but one thing has been more consistent than any other fact — and that has been the steady presence of Shawn and Steph Grimes. With deep gratitude for all that they have contributed, I write to share their departure from the team.

I was recently looking back at a presentation made during our 5th Anniversary Showcase, and am reminded now of the impact Shawn and Steph have had on each piece of this reflection:

An email from Shawn last week let staff and a number of community members know, saying:

“It is with a heavy heart that we write this email. Over the last 7 years, Steph and I have poured our passion and soul into helping to shape DHF and bring its mission to life. In order to make room for new faces, new perspectives, and new ideas on how to best carry DHF’s work forward to new beginnings, it is time for the two of us to move on. We are very sad to be leaving but know that it will be mutually beneficial for the organization and us.”

On Friday, Shawn, Steph, and Ruby wrapped up transition items and said a lot of goodbyes.

While we don’t know exactly what the road will bring, we look forward to seeing how paths will cross and ways they may wind together again in the not-too-distant future. At this moment in time though, it is with deep gratitude that I want to express my appreciation for everything both of them have given to the youth, the space, and the organization. Their marks on each one of those will be deep and lasting.

– Andrew Coy

Digital Harbor Foundation Announces Multi-Year Commitment by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

Grant to support maker and computer science education opportunities for Baltimore youth in the out-of-school time and educator professional development.

BALTIMORE (January 17, 2019) On the 6th Anniversary of opening the Digital Harbor Foundation (DHF) Tech Center in the former South Baltimore Rec Center, the Digital Harbor Foundation announced a multi-year commitment of $450,000.00 to support DHF’s ongoing initiatives and aid in efforts to expand its reach.

“The Weinberg Foundation has been a key partner from the very beginning of our work,” said Andrew Coy, Executive Director of the Digital Harbor Foundation. “This multi-year commitment allows us to act immediately on the core threads outlined in our new strategic plan which are focused on extending opportunities to even more Baltimore youth. Specifically, it will allow us to grow our team, make structural updates to several of our programs, and create new ways for youth to participate in our programs.”

As highlighted in the 2018 Annual Report, DHF’s impact has grown from a single afterschool program to now serving 1,250 youth from 37 Baltimore-area zip codes in a variety of out-of-school-time programs and special events with another 2,678 community members attending our special events. Additionally, DHF’s Center of Excellence for Innovation in Technology Education supports educators from around the country as they incorporate technology education in their learning environments through in-person workshops, online professional development, and individualized consulting. In 2018, 241 educators attended DHF’s in-person workshops (having an indirect impact on 38,505 youth from around the country) with 1,339 educators using Blueprint, DHF’s online educator resources which includes getting started guides, project ideas, online courses, and digital guides.

The announcement was made alongside a number of other public releases including the launch of free field-trip opportunities for Baltimore City Public Schools, shift in summer programs to full-day camps, new educator professional development opportunities, and naming of Darius McCoy to the role of Tech Center Director at Digital Harbor Foundation’s flagship location.

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About the Digital Harbor Foundation
The Digital Harbor Foundation (DHF), a non-profit organization located in Baltimore City, is dedicated to fostering innovation, tech advancement, and entrepreneurship by helping youth develop digital age skills through maker and computer science education. In 2013, DHF reopened the closed South Baltimore Rec Centers as the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center, a youth-centric makerspace and in 2016 launched the Center of Excellence for Innovation in Technology Education. Learn more at digitalharbor.org

About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, is dedicated to meeting the basic needs of vulnerable people and families experiencing poverty. In 2019, the Foundation will provide approximately $125 million in grants to nonprofits that provide direct services in the areas of Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services. The Foundation’s priority communities include Baltimore, Chicago, Hawaii, Israel, New York City, Northeastern Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Rural Communities (primarily surrounding other priority communities). The Foundation’s trustees include Robert T. Kelly, Jr., Board Chair; Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin (Ret.); Paula B. Pretlow; and Gordon Berlin. Rachel Garbow Monroe continues to serve as President and CEO. For more information, please visit www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.

6th Anniversary Showcase

Six years ago we held the Grand Opening for the launch of the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center. Forbes published “Commandeering The Decks: Baltimore’s Digital Harbor Tech Center” wrote at the time:

“Beginning next week, the Digital Harbor Tech Center will offer Baltimore City Public School students what they need to innovate. This will happen through after school digital literacy programs, classes, and clubs where kids can hone their mobile app development, web design, and digital media production skills… The center’s grand opening was a packed house, where excited participants got to show equally excited visitors the fruits of some their early work, providing a taste of what’s to come from the space.”

To celebrate our past year of work and marking the 6th Anniversary milestone, and in addition to our youth showed off their most recent creations, we were excited to

  • announce a major grant from the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation,
  • release both our 2018 Annual Report and our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan,
  • introduce Darius McCoy as the newly named Tech Center Director,
  • announce the launch of new Tech Center Field Trips opportunities,
  • announce the opportunity for Pop-Up Programs at off-site locations, and
  • announced changes to our summer Maker Camp program.

Special thanks to all of the individuals, companies, organizations and foundations that make our work possible! We wouldn’t be here without your support — you are making a TRANSFORMATIONAL impact on the trajectory of thousands of Baltimore youth!

Major Grant from The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

To support the work of the Digital Harbor Foundation, the Weinberg Foundation has made a $450,000.00 commitment over two years. You can read a full press release about this major grant here: https://www.digitalharbor.org/2019/01/digital-harbor-foundation-announces-multi-year-commitment-harry-jeanette-weinberg-foundation/

Digital Harbor Foundation’s 2018 Annual Report

We are pleased to present the Digital Harbor Foundation’s 2018 Annual Report and to reflect on the progress our youth and staff have made during the 2018 calendar year. Some of this progress is easy to see, such as the number of youth who participated in our courses or the launch of DHF’s National Rec-to-Tech Design Challenge. However, just as important are the hundreds of small and individual victories our youth have achieved over the past year. Read the whole report here.

Digital Harbor Foundation Strategic Plan (2019-2021)

Through the support and expertise of An-Me Chung, and with input from hundreds of stakeholders and community members, Digital Harbor Foundation has developed a strategic plan to help guide its work over the course of the next three years. The report outlines our organizational Theory of Change as well as Strategic Priority Actions designed to guide our efforts to continue delivering high-quality programs to even more youth in Baltimore and educators nationally. Read the full plan here.

Darius McCoy, Tech Center Director

As Digital Harbor Foundation has grown, the need for a single Director for all of our youth-serving programs at the Tech Center has become apparent. As we went through the interview process for the position, we realized that the best person to lead that work was one of our very own former youth, Darius McCoy. We could not be more pleased to introduce him to the broader community as the Tech Center Director. Seeing him step into this role is a manifestation of the transformational potential for youth in our programs to directly lead this work.

Field Trips

We are excited to announce new opportunities for 3D Printing Field Trip (FREE for Baltimore City Public Schools). During this high quality, hands-on field trip experience, youth learn how to use 3D design software to design and 3D print a personalized object. Additionally, an interactive presentation is delivered that covers the uses of 3D printers in a variety of industries, how they work, and the design-to-print workflow.

Schools can sign up directly at https://www.digitalharbor.org/whatwedo/youth/field-trips/

Pop-Up Programs

In addition to field trip opportunities to the Tech Center, DHF is excited to announce the launch of Pop-Up Programs where DHF collaborates with organizations and schools to bring hands-on tech experiences to youth in those spaces. To learn more and get invovled, email popup@digitalharbor.org!

All-Day Summer Camp

Based on feedback and requests from families, we are excited to announce changes to our summer Maker Camp schedule that will make our previously two-week half-day camps to now run all day for one week. Sign up for our newsletter to receive the announcement when registration opens: https://eepurl.com/I8aJX

SxSWedu Tech Summit: Perryville Middle Schools’ 3D Printing Micro-Shop

On March 11, Digital Harbor Foundation in Baltimore was the lead organizer of the Tech Education Summit at SxSWedu in Austin, TX. We designed the event to bring together organizations doing exemplary work across the country to support innovative technology and maker education for youth. Each organization led a short “micro-workshop” featuring hands-on learning activities.

SXSWedu-presenters

One organization that was invited to attend was a favorite of the Keynote speakers Lynda Weinman (founder and CEO of lynda.com) and Stephanie Santoso (Senior Advisor for Making – White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) was the Perryville Middle School Destination Imagination Team, who showcased their work in 3D printing. Here is what the youth had to share about their participation in the event, and how it sparked new questions about transforming education in the United States:

SXSWedu-Perryville-Santoso

Cooper Wilcox, 8th grader: We were there to inform and teach people about 3D scanning. This is pretty much exactly what is sounds like. We can take a XBox Kinect camera and scan your body. Then we can process that video in an application to be able to create a 3D model of you and what you would look like in a video game. After that, we can export your file into another application and 3D print YOU! It was really great to show people what we have learned!

Alexandrea Koons, 8th grader: At the summit, we met Lynda Weinman, the founder of Lynda.com. She was so insightful about ways to improve the common school curriculum. Something that peaked my interest was when she talked about today’s girl youth population and how they don’t find school as fun as boys do. I find it very true and it really made me think of ways I can increase the love of school for girls in my school. Another person I met was Stephanie Santoso, the Senior Advisor on Making for the White House who gave the second keynote! She talked about entrepreneurship and really opened my eyes to new ways I can use imagination and creativity to develop ideas to help my community.

Vincent Gugliotta, 8th grader: SxSWedu Tech Summit made us think about ways that we could change our education system. I had personally thought that the best way to change the education system was to put up less emphasis on letter grades and more on smaller goals that children will want to strive to. This event had made us realize just how much it would benefit us all to have these ideas put into play, and how important it is that we have all these people willing to come out and explain ways to try and help learning become something fun and challenging.

SXSWedu-CoyWeinman

In addition to participating in SxSWedu Tech Summit, the White House announced last week that the Perryville Middle School Destination Imagination Team received honorable mention in the White House Student Film Festival for their film “Pay It Forward” highlighting their 3D printing work.

Announcing the First Winners of the DHF Perpetual Innovation Fund Prize!

We are excited to announce the first winners of the DHF Perpetual Innovation Fund Prize, an initiative we  launched in January 2014 to provide a free 3D printer and training to educators who plan to start a 3D printing youth enterprise at their school. Each educator-led youth enterprise that receives funding commits to paying forward a portion of the profits from the 3D printed objects they sell, so that another youth enterprise can also benefit!

3D Printed Objects

The winners include 9 entrepreneurial educators from the greater Baltimore region, Northumberland Pennsylvania as well as the entire San Rafael School District in California, which is committing to train multiple educators in 3D Printing technology:

  1. Andrew Pham, Benjamin Franklin High School (Baltimore, MD)
  2. Benjamin Johnson, Maree Garnett Farring Elementary/Middle School (Baltimore, MD)
  3. Brian Hoffman, Roland Park Elementary/Middle School (Baltimore MD)
  4. Cindy Marcoline, Windsor Hills Elementary/Middle School (Baltimore MD)
  5. Elisabeth Gambino, Academy of College and Career Exploration High School (Baltimore, MD)
  6. Ian Snyder, Northumberland Christian School (Northumberland, PA)
  7. Jason Peinert, Leith Walk Elementary/Middle School (Baltimore MD)
  8. Lynn Patterson, The Academies at Frederick Douglass High School (Baltimore, MD)
  9. Ryan Hoge, Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts (Dundalk, MD)
  10. The San Rafael School District (San Rafael, CA)

We received applications from across the country – from rural New York to California –  and these winners stood out as strong passionate applicants who are teaching 21st century job skills to students!

In addition, we are also very excited to announce that Scott Dellosso of Perryville Middle School, the first educator to receive funding from the Perpetual Innovation Fund in a pilot program, had already paid-forward the entirety of his Perpetual Innovation Fund Investment! We literally believe that 3D printers can pay for themselves, and are excited to see youth enterprises like Perryville already putting that belief into action!

The Perpetual Innovation Fund is made possible thanks to the R.W. Deutsch Foundation and their seed support.

RWDeutsch-325x150

Applications are now open for the second round of the Perpetual Innovation Fund Prize, which will be open until May 15, 2015.

Know an educator and youth team that would be a great fit? Please visit this link to apply http://old.digitalharbor.org/perpetual-innovation-fund/