DHF Presents: Admin Make Night


We are excited to announce our (almost) Spring Admin Make Night. Created for principals, assistant principals, and district administrators, the DHF Admin Make Night is designed to allow administrators to have fun and create with the STEM & Maker tools that are being made available to their students. Try your hand at 3D printing, program a simple device, and build an interactive computer game from Scratch. Get to be a student for an evening, and get ready to MAKE this semester great!

Bring Your Admin – Stay to Make!

We’ve had a couple of teachers ask if they could attend this administrator focused event, so we’ve decided that if you can bring along your Principal, AP, or county level administrator, you’re welcome to join! Be sure to RSVP for yourself and your admin guest at the link below.

DHF Admin Make Night: Tuesday, February 21st 6:30-8:30 pm

Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center,
1045 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
RSVP here: DHF Admin Make Night RSVP

If you have any questions, please email josh@digitalharbor.org


Digital Harbor Foundation is dedicated to fostering learning, creativity, productivity, and community through education. In 2013 we transformed a closed-down rec center in Baltimore City into a vibrant Tech Center for youth. In 2014 we launched the Center of Excellence to train others how to incorporate making into their own learning environments. Check out DHF educator workshops and to stay up to date on DHF happenings, sign up for the monthly Maker Educator Newsletter at dhf.io/nws

Announcing the Innovation Access Program

Digital Harbor Foundation is a leader in educational technology training for youth and educators. Through the Innovation Access Program, we we would like to expand access to innovative technology, resources and training to an increasing number of educators.

Announced in the White House’s New Commitments in Support of the President’s
Nation of Makers Initiative to Kick Off 2016 National Week of Making
and in partnership with Printrbot, MatterHackers, and BuildTak, we would like to expand access to our educator programs by announcing our commitment to provide a free 3D printer and accompanying multi-day training to one educator from every state.

Our technology workshops help educators, in both formal and informal settings, learn what they need to know to comfortably control (and troubleshoot) a 3D printer and incorporate iterative practice, 3D design, and 3D printing into their own curriculum. And with the help of this program, our hope is to increase access to other educators on 3D printing.

For details on what is covered in the workshop, please see this page and when you are ready, head over to complete the application.

Share this news with your educator friends:


What others say about our 3D Printing Workshop:

The staff were super friendly and so enthusiastic. In 23 years of teaching, this is the best Teaching/Professional Development course I have taken. 3D printing and DHF inspire creativity! The time absolutely flew and I couldn’t wait for the next session.


The workshop is great. I really wish I had been able to participate when I first started working with a 3D printer…


The amount of hands on time with the printers was perfect. I really liked the various pathways we explored on generating stl files, especially doodlefab.


I was not super excited about attending this workshop ahead of time as I was not sure how it could relate to my program. I also had envisioned that the 3D printer would be huge and not able to move to the different sites where I have my after school program. I was quickly proven wrong. I learned so much this weekend and am so excited about taking this incredible resource back to my after­school program. I have come up with a whole bunch of lesson plans and am going to start right away. Thanks for a great workshop.


The workshop is exactly what is advertised. It will give educators at all levels understanding technology with the tools to learn 3D printing. It was the right amount of hands on and informative.


May 2016 Family Make Night: Lasercut Lanterns

In May, we are very excited to introduce laser cutting to our Family Make Night participants!

Join us for May Family Make Night to design your own lanterns. We will be making digital designs for our lanterns and then using the laser cutter to add our designs to paper lanterns.

RSVP here


Each family will get to make their own Paper Lantern using the laser cutter. You will use a computer design software tool called Inkscape to create your own custom designs and then work with DHF staff to use the laser cutter to cut your design from your lantern.

Doors Open: 6:30pm; Arrive by 7:30pm to complete the activity.

PLEASE NOTE: We request that you do not plan to arrive before 6:30pm at the earliest as our afterschool programs do not wrap up until then. Thank you!

For more details and to RSVP, check out our Meetup page – Family Make Night: Lasercut Lanterns.

DHF Springing Up Around Town


March has passed, which means we welcome a new month and new adventures for the DHF team.

Digital Harbor Foundation will be busy either hosting, running, coordinating, making, or participating in multiple events throughout the Baltimore area. These are places we will have a presence out and about around town in the coming weeks! We hope to see you out there!

*Please keep in mind not all events are free or open to the public.

newheader_sciencefair_2015 White House Science Fair

We are honored and excited to have one of our elementary makers representing DHF at this year’s White House Science Fair, the 6th and final of President Obama’s administration! You can watch a live-stream of the event on April 13th and we will be sharing highlights throughout the day on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You may also want to read-up on last year’s DHF youth who participated in White House Science Fair, Sierra Seabrease.


2016 Summer Resource Fair Summer Resource Fair

Looking for Summer Camps but not sure where to start?! Join us on April 14th at 10am for the Summer Resource Fair (sponsored by Family League and B’More, Read More). Melissa will be hosting a table to share information about our upcoming Maker Camps. This will be a great opportunity to connect with summer providers throughout Baltimore City.  Location: Maryland Book Bank ( 501 N. Calvert Street )


USA Science & Engineering Festival

USA Science & Engineering Festival

We are thrilled to have Adam, our Senior Tech Specialist, represent DHF at this year’s USA Science & Engineering Festival. If you have the opportunity to attend this special event make sure to stop by the Raspberry Pi booth to visit Adam.  More Information: http://www.usasciencefestival.org/


Windsor Mill STEM Night

Melissa and Jonathan will be traveling to Windsor Mill Middle School to host a fun STEM project to students and parents. This event is only for the Windsor Mill Middle School community but if any schools want DHF to host a STEM project email us.


 Abilities HackathonAbilities Hackathon

Mark your calendars! On April 22-24 the first Baltimore Abilities Hackathon will be hosted at the Tech Center. This is a collaborative effort to engage the tech community in human-centered design practices for individuals with needs related to their impacted abilities. We are looking for talented developers, makers, programmers, and designers to join us. Tickets are $20 which includes T-Shirt and Food for the whole weekend. More Information: http://abilitieshackathon.com/


11228129_923332231036917_659631216502168028_oCommon Ground 2016

DHF will be hitting the road to head to Ocean City for the 4th Annual Common Ground Conference, “Maryland’s top professional development of the year”. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear thought-provoking speakers, experience hundreds of inspiring sessions, and there will be demonstrations of the latest products. If you are attending make sure to say “Hi” to Melissa and Josh in the Exhibitor’s Hall. More Information:  http://www.commongroundmd.org/



On April 30th both DHF Youth and Staff members will have the opportunity to host a booth at this year’s RobotFest. “This event will welcome all roboticists, hackers, artists, hobbyists and makers of any age who have the unquenchable urge to develop and create new, previously unseen forms from lifeless electronics, fabrics, and mechanical parts. Join the fun and excitement with hands-on exhibits, and workshops!”  More Information: http://www.robotfest.com/



Family Make Night Returns

After a bit of a delayed start in 2016, we are very excited to kickoff our Family Make Night program in April!

Join us on April 26th to explore art-making robots with our Art Bots project. This is a great project for family members of all ages and one of our favorites at DHF.

RSVP here


Each family will get to make their own Art Bot using simple electronic components and household items. Your Art Bot will then be used to create it’s own unique drawings!

Doors Open: 6:30pm; Arrive by 7:30pm to complete the activity.

PLEASE NOTE: We request that you do not plan to arrive before 6:30pm at the earliest as our afterschool programs do not wrap up until then. Thank you!

For more details and to RSVP, check out our Meetup page – Family Make Night: Art Bots.

Join us for FabSLAM 2016

Today is the day! We are excited to announce our 5th cycle of FabSLAM! We are kicking off FabSLAM 2016 today with the announcement of our challenge theme and open registration for youth teams.


To celebrate our regional expansion of FabSLAM, we wanted a challenge theme that would highlight this new aspect of FabSLAM…

This cycle’s challenge theme is CITIES!

For this challenge theme, teams should identify a problem in your city that could be addressed using 3D printing and digital fabrication.

More information:

  • Use digital fabrication methods (e.g. 3D printing) to create a solution to the problem you have identified
  • Identify a space in your city that could be reimagined / improved and design and fabricate a model of the new space  OR
  • Design a product that would solve a need of an identified space: e.g. rain gutter guard, a more accessible door handle,etc.


We welcome teams of youth (with an adult coach) to register and join us to compete in this 3D printing competition. It doesn’t matter where you are geographically located in Maryland, as long as you can attend the FabSLAM Showcase at the end of the program.

What is FabSLAM?

FabSLAM is a multi-week, team-based, digital fabrication competition where youth learn and practice design, iteration, and rapid prototyping skills primarily focused on 3D Design and 3D Printing. A challenge theme is presented and each team works to develop a product that fits the theme and meets any accompanying requirements. Each team works with a Coach to help guide the team through the challenge and aid in documentation.

FabSLAM culminates in a FabSLAM Showcase where teams will present their products to a panel of judges and a public audience for review and feedback.

To learn more,

New Workshop: IoT for Educators

We are very excited to announce our newest educator workshop offering: IoT for Educators! But wait, what is IoT? IoT stands for Internet of Things and the Internet of Things means connected sensors and actuators to the Internet so that you can collect data about the world around you and interact with it. This data can then be visualized or used in a multitude of ways to gather useful information.


IoT has been hailed as the next frontier in emerging technology and we are beginning to see these devices everywhere – Nest thermostats that can be controlled via your phone are increasingly popular IoT devices, as well as Philips Hue light bulbs whose colors can be changed by your phone, and so much more.

We wanted to create a workshop for educators to teach them how to use electronic devices to collect data within their learning environment to collect real-world information that can be used by students. Instead of using fake data about some stranger’s shoe size in a math problem – now you will be able to collect data about classroom temperature and use that information for analysis.


In this workshop, educators will learn how to program connected devices to monitor and interact with the world around them. The workshop will include training and materials to support step-by-step projects that allow youth to interact with and monitor their environment while collecting real-world data.

The workshop includes a kit of technology devices and coordinating materials as well as software tools and recommendations and educational support.

Learn more about the workshop and sign up

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing more ideas and inspiration for IoT projects, so be sure to check back!

2015 Is A Wrap, 2016 Here We Come!

Below is the speech I gave at our 3rd Anniversary Showcase on Thursday, January 14th:

This has been an amazing year for DHF and it’s hard to believe that we are only wrapping up our 3rd year. When I remember back to our grand opening, I remember all the promise we saw , because honestly, promise was all there was to see. We didn’t have ceiling tiles, the walls were pure white, we had one 3D printer, about 10 laptops and only a handful of youth. The small number of youth was a good thing because we had no content for them either.


We have always been a fast moving organization. I like to think that is because we see the urgency in what we are trying to change and the lives we are trying to impact. We work with these youth, we have relationships with them, and we want to see them succeed. Our goal has always been to serve the youth of Baltimore and make them producers rather than just consumers, or as the nomenclature of today would call them, Makers.

In 2015, we have directly delivered over 27,000 hours of content and services to youth in Baltimore. 92% of that time was impact hours where we are working with an individual youth for 40 hours or more.

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Leading up to the fall, we brainstormed ideas to recruit more young women into our programs. The solution we piloted was to host an all-girls cohort of our Maker Foundations program. I’m delighted to share with you that those efforts resulted in 50% of the youth served this semester being young women. This is a direct result from the commitment of our staff to make a change in the world around them.

50 percent female youth

In the Spring of 2015, we launched a field trip program where schools could visit DHF during the school day and experience 3D Printing first hand. The youth on these field trips got to design their own 3D printed keychain and take it with them. We had over 600 students participate from 25 different Baltimore City schools. This was the first time that 68% of the students had seen a 3D printer. With your help, in just 6 weeks, we exceeded our goal of raising $15,000 to continue this program and offer 30 more field trips this coming year.

Field Trips

The field trip crowdfunding campaign is just one example where you, our community of supporters, came together to be champions for DHF. In February of this year, you gave us your vote to earn an $8,000 makeover from IKEA without which, we would not have the chairs or storage to serve as many youth this year.

IKEA Challenge

This summer, we partnered with the Center for Urban Families and the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development to provide trainings to youth in their YouthWorks program who could participate in the Digital Harbor Foundation’s WebSLAM. WebSLAM is an innovative program we created where students learn web development skills in a six-week training program, then immediately put those skills to work building websites for local small business and nonprofit clients. This summer, the 50 participating youth built websites for 27 local nonprofits.

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People across the country are taking notice at what DHF and the youth of Baltimore are doing.
6 of our youth this year were asked to represent Baltimore and DHF at the White House for various events including the White House Science Fair and an opportunity to share their thoughts on how the High School experience could be improved. Our Executive Director was invited to become a Senior Advisor to the White House because of the work that he has done for Baltimore by creating the Digital Harbor Foundation and for his vision that the impact this program can have for youth across the nation.

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We teach our youth the iterative process of Design, Make, and Share. And this philosophy is ingrained in our organizational culture. Our first year, we designed the space and designed what we thought youth programs should be (and should not be). In our second year, we made the designs become reality and we developed and refined our youth programs. In our third year, we started sharing our methods and resources through our Center of Excellence initiative. This initiative was designed to spread our lessons learned to other youth educators so they can stand on our shoulders and improve the lives of the youth they serve.

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In 2015, we worked with nearly 200 educators from almost 90 different organizations. 42% of which were public school teachers, another 21% were after school time providers like DHF, and 14% were from our Public Library systems.

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Through this initiative, we have gotten to work with amazing educators who are passionate about working with their youth and needed some guidance on how to add Making to their programs.

Even our youth have decided to become involved with helping other educators support making in their space. Over the summer, Darius, one of our former youth and now a member of our staff, co-founded a program called 3D Assistance where they use their expertise in 3D printer repair and troubleshooting to support educators who run into issues. We like to think of it as Geek Squad for 3D printing. Darius’ program has even earned the endorsement and support of Brook Drumm, the CEO of Printrbot.

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As we enter our fourth year, we will continue moving forward in innovation and iteration of our programs and our learning.

We will add new and engaging topics to our Member Courses so that we can continue toward the goal of long term impact and career readiness of our youth. This will include advanced courses in Raspberry Pi, Internet of Things, Web Development, and more in addition to the development of pathways in our courses for Design, Development, Fabrication, Electronics, and Communications.

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We will be working more closely with Federal Hill Prep Elementary School, where we will be providing feedback on their curriculum and project ideas to be implemented in grades 3,4, & 5, and in return, they will give us better insight into how these maker activities are working in a formal classroom setting to aid in our creation of additional resources for classroom educators.

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In the coming year, we are excited that our FabSLAM program is moving to a national stage. Competitions will be hosted this spring in Pittsburgh and Idaho, in addition to Baltimore. This was the first program that Steph and I worked on when we joined DHF and we couldn’t be happier to see our efforts grow into something larger than just what we do here.

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And one more thing….

Tonight, on our 3rd Anniversary we are proud to announce the next component of our Center of Excellence program, Digital Harbor Foundation’s Blueprint. This website will be a comprehensive resource for educators to build their own innovative making environment. This resource will be packed with details on how to get your program started and continue the work with equipment reviews, plans on how to build your own maker space furniture, and project guides. We’ve learned so many lessons in our building our space and our programs. We want people to stand on our shoulders and make new mistakes to push us all forward. We strongly believe, you can’t buy a Makerspace, you have to make one and we want to help people do that.

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I want to thank all of you for joining us tonight and supporting our youth. You have been amazing champions of DHF and the work that we are doing in the city that we love so much.

Our board and sponsors have been incredibly supportive as I have transitioned into my new role as Interim Executive Director. I can’t thank you enough for your guidance and for welcoming me into these large shoes that I have to fill.

To our amazing DHF team, thank you for everything you do day in and day out for our youth; caring for them, building relationships with them, teaching them new things, and making them better people. We couldn’t have gotten this far in such a short period of time without all of your passion and commitment. I look forward to continuing our work together and standing up here in another year to reflect back on the progress we have made.

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Youth – Come Make Awesome Things with Us


Do you know a youth who loves hands-on projects or experimenting with technology? We have an afterschool program perfect for them!

Our Maker Foundations program is an introductory course for middle and high school youth. Youth will have the opportunity to explore emerging technology topics where they will design and 3D print their own creations, learn to program games and make their own game artwork, make a website, create interactive electronics, and much more.


Programs will be offered either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3pm to 6pm. This Spring we will continue to offer an All-Girls Cohort for young female makers who want to build connections and create new friendships among other females. The All-Girls Cohort will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays and the Co-Ed Cohort will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays.


We hope you will join us for this incredible afterschool program and we hope to foster young makers’ passion through our Maker Foundations program. To learn more and sign up visit digitalharbor.org/maker or email us at contact@digitalharbor.org

Become a Maker Educator



February will mark the 1 year anniversary of the first offering of our Making for Educators workshop and to celebrate we will be offering an updated version of the workshop!

Our 2-day workshop will take place Friday February 19 – Saturday February 20 and we want you to join us! The Making for Educators workshop will prepare formal and informal educators to get started with making and hands-on projects in their learning space. In this workshop, we will cover all you need to jump-start your own maker program or makerspace for youth. This workshop also includes a Makerspace in a Box Kit of materials and supplies to use for projects during the workshop, but also to take with you back to your learning space and continue the fun and exploration!



This workshop is intended for educators who work in many learning spaces. Previous participants have included librarians & media specialists, K-12 classroom teachers, and afterschool program providers.

To learn more about the workshop and get all of the details, visit our Making for Educators workshop page.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at contact@digitalharbor.org. We hope to see you at our next workshop!