One of the most exciting things about Maker Party is the chance to get to know amazing organizations all over the world that are doing great things with teaching technology and the web. That’s why we were so excited this year to meet the Digital Harbor Foundation. The Digital Harbor Foundation is an exciting new organization in Baltimore that found an abandoned rec center and transformed it into a tech center and permanent maker space for youth.
Throughout the year they run camps, workshops, and courses for kids and families of all ages and all abilities to deepen their interest in technology and teach them technical skills. We had a chance to sit down with the Director of Curriculum, Stephanie Grimes, to learn more about the organization, and how they’re getting involved with Maker Party this year.
What is Digital Harbor Foundation and what do you do?
At Digital Harbor Foundation we foster innovation, tech advancement, and entrepreneurship by helping youth develop digital age skills through maker activities and tech workforce readiness. In January 2013, we re-opened an abandoned Rec Center in Baltimore, and converted it to a Tech Center: a youth makerspace full of computers, 3D printers, Arduinos, and much, much more!
What is the event(s) you will be hosting or running during MP?
Our main event will be our annual WebSlam competition where youth learn web development skills all week and put them to use over the weekend to build a website for a non-profit or student project. We will also be running a few workshops on Webmaker tools throughout the summer.
Why did you choose to get involved with Maker Party?
We are big fans of Mozilla’s goals and mission to help others make the web and use technology to create new things! Maker Party seemed like the perfect opportunity to set aside time to become more familiar with the Webmaker tools and put them to use with our youth.
Tell us what you’re most excited for at the event.
We are most excited to see what the youth make! Kids can do amazing things when we give them the tools and get out of the way. We are also excited to introduce them to new resources to help them create their visions for the web.
Why is it important for youth and adults to make things with technology?
We believe this is important because we live in a time where technology is evolving so rapidly and people need to know that they can have a hand in creating anything that they can imagine, sometimes with easy to use tools!
What is the feedback you usually get from people who attend or teach at your events?
The quote we hear from kids is “This is SO MUCH FUN! Can I come here during school too?” From the community, we most often hear “Wow, I wish I had a place like this when I was a kid!” Parents thank us for offering opportunities that their kids are actually interested in, and creating a place where they feel like they fit.
Why is it important for people and organizations to get involved with Maker Party?
Maker Party is an initiative that is helpful in spreading ideas, collaborating on projects, and teaching accessible technology tools to foster creation and innovation in people of all ages and backgrounds.