I helped connect a million minds by giving underserved middle-school youth in New York City the opportunity to learn basic electronics and sewing in order to create their own wearable technology projects.
In partnership with Brooklyn College Community Partnership (BCCP) and with generous support from Time Warner Cable and the Connect A Million Minds initiative, Eyebeam exposed these 7th and 8th graders to 21st century skills, new technologies, and cutting-edge practices in art and design around the framework of STEAM--Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
Guided by Toni Pizza--professional game designer and artist--students at STAR Academy on the Erasmus campus in Flatbush, Brooklyn worked in groups to envision and produce garments or accessories embedded with electronics such as conductive thread, batteries, and LEDs. Projects included t-shirts that charged iPhones and back-packs that lit up.
The middle-schoolers also learned communication, critical thinking, and problem solving skills, which empowered them to present their final projects to friends and family at the end of the program. Their peers asked critical questions, gave feedback, and were themselves inspired to create and learn.