Every year AOL sets up a global volunteer day called Monster Help Day, in which AOL employees take time outside of the office hours, to help their local community. This year Digital Harbor Foundation was honored to be one out of 68 global partners for Monster Help Day 2015.
This was our third year partnering with AOL for Monster Help Day and we were seeking help with a few in-house improvements for our Tech Center. The AOL volunteers were eager and friendly and, in just a few hours, completed many projects to bring more polish to our space.
Green Screen Wall – This was a project our Mini Makers (and Staff!) are really excited about! The green screen wall will be used for our upcoming Film Maker Maker Camp. (PS: We still have spots available in our Film Maker Maker Camp session for 3-5th grade!)
Youth Bulletin Board – We have been in need of a bulletin board to share information about upcoming workshops and opportunities to all our youth and families. AOL Volunteers helped install and decorate the Youth Bulletin Board.
Community Bulletin Board – We are always excited to learn about new events and opportunities in the Baltimore City Community. Now, we are even more excited to have a bulletin board to help promote new events and share information with our youth and families.
Director’s Office – When the Tech Center made its transformation from Rec to Tech, we needed an office space that was closed off from other rooms, so we had to make our own wall to split one giant room into two. That was about 2 years ago and that wall still needed some TLC. AOL volunteers helped spackle and finish the wall in the Director’s Office, it looks amazing and has made the room look more finished.
Lego Interactive Wall – The Tech Center gets lots of visitors of all ages, and we have been dreaming of an interactive Lego Wall for a long time. Our awesome volunteers helped bring this dream into its first version of reality! Come visit to check out our Lego Wall and create a design of your own!
A giant Thank You to all the AOL Volunteers for taking the time to help us on Monster Help Day. It is always a pleasure to work with you each year and we look forward to the next opportunity!
Do you have experience with PHP and MySQL? Do you want to put your skills to use to help DHF bring technology education to more youth? Digital Harbor Foundation is looking for a volunteer to help us build out the front end of our student database. We’re looking for someone with the following technical experience:
Experience w/ PHP and MySQL required.
Experience w/ Laravel or other PHP frameworks desired.
This May in the Tech Center, the youth have been busy brainstorming, planning, and creating amazing projects that will be proudly displayed in the Spring Showcase tomorrow! In the early stages of planning their projects, Richelle Vargas, a talented interactive arts major at MICA (who also helps with the building of fantastic sets at Port Discovery), gave an amazing presentation on a piece she titled Conversation 2. Conversation 2 is a sculpture project Richelle completed using Arduino and an Xbox Kinect to program a silicone face that reacts to the movement of the person in front of it that the sensors pick up, and then changes expression based on that person’s movement each time. She explained to the youth that she drew her inspiration from the expressive nature of cartoons and her fascination with mimicking those expressions.
Richelle’s project went through many phases, starting with a prototype using 3D printed gears, moving onward to a smaller silicone face using strings attached to motors and sensors to move. Richelle then moved onward to a more functional version, bigger in size using face mask casting and gears internally to move. Richelle’s project proved to be a great inspiration to the youth in attendance because it expressed the importance of prototyping and improving design. Richelle discussed in detail with the youth the trial and error process that was behind the sculpture as well as amazing skills she taught herself along the way to get to the final result. Richelle’s presentation on her sculpture was an awesome example of how far you can take an idea if you continue to work at it. Since the presentation, Richelle has accepted a position as a Maker Corps Member and will be working at DHF this summer with our elementary Maker Camp!
Are you interested in getting involved at the DHF Tech Center and helping youth? Do you have a career in a technology field? If the answer to both of these questions is YES, then this message is for you!
One of our goals at DHF is to create an environment that inspires youth to make and explore their interest in tech-related fields, and while providing them with the environment to learn new skills is one of the things we do, it is always important for them to see how those skills contribute to their future.
We are currently seeking community members who have careers in technology fields to volunteer as Guest Speakers in our Career Series. The goal of this series is to highlight possible careers and opportunities that youth may pursue in technology fields. Volunteers will be asked to talk with our youth participants about their technology careers and the pathways that lead them to those careers.
We ask that Guest Speakers plan to spend between 1-2 hours engaged in a casual conversation with our youth (ages 11-18) during the times of our after-school program, 4-6pm.
Fields of interest include but are not limited to: