On November 5, 2013, OLC attended the “NYTECHMEETUP” hosted by. The featured presenters and Demostrations of the event were Evan Korth, Associate Professor of Computer Science at NYU and organizer for Hack NY, ScratchedEd, Scalable Game Design, Code.org, BigShot Camera, Disney Research, and the MIT media labs.
Evan Korth, Associate Professor of Computer Science at NYU, began the event by introducing his organization, hackNY. Mutually organized through a partnership between the faculty from NYU and Columbia, hackNY strives to educate, organize, and empower a community of student technologists. Since February 2010, hackNY has organized the hackNY Fellows program and student ‘hackathons’ during the school year in order to provide students with the means as well as the impetus to develop their technological talents and interests.
Next ScratchedEd demonstrated their product, Scratched. Scratched is a free programming language site that allows easy access for children K-12 to use programming language to create interactive art, stories, simulations, and games.
The next demonstration was Scalable Game Design
The goal of Scalable Game Design is to reform middle school IT education using scalable game design as an approach to cultivate IT fluency. The project is designed to spark student interest in IT through game design. By designing games, students can collaboratively engage each other as well as themselves in problem solving, creativity, modeling and communication. Scalable Game design allows students to develop a rich set of skills consistent with STEM and IT competency frameworks such as the National Academy of Sciences Fluency with IT and the International Society for Technology in Education NETS standards because while using this platform, students as well as teachers can quickly start with game design activities producing simple classic games. But then continue to sophisticated games exhibiting artificial intelligence as they improve their skills.
After Scalable Game Design was Code.org.
Code.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and expanding computer science education by increasing its availability in schools and facilitating more computer science participation by women as well as underrepresented students of color. Code.org’s vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer programming through platforms such as Codeacademy, Code HS, and Scratched.
Next, Bigshot demonstrated their product, Bigshot Camera.
Bigshot Camera allows people of all ages to learn science as well as engineering skills through a do-it-yourself digital camera assembly kit. By using the descriptions, illustrations and demonstrations on their website, http://www.bigshotcamera.com/, the user of the kit can learn fundamental concepts in optics, mechanics, electromagnetism, electronics and image processing. Once assembled, they can use Bigshot to tap into their creative potential as a photographer by experimenting with framing, lighting and motion. They can also compose as well as capture moments from their everyday life.
Next Disney Research demonstrated their energy harvesting material.
Disney Research demonstrated their energy harvesting technology that generates electrical energy from a user’s interactions with paper-like materials. The energy harvesters used in this process are flexible, light, and inexpensive, and they utilize a user’s gestures such as tapping, touching, rubbing and sliding to generate energy. The harvested energy is then used to activate LEDs, e-paper displays and other devices to create interactive applications for books and other printed media.
And finally, MIT Media Labs introduced the Reality Editor.
The Reality Editor is a system that uses interfaces within portable devices to edit the behavior of “smarter objects”, i.e. objects or devices that have an embedded processor and communication capability. Using augmented reality techniques, the Reality Editor maps graphical elements directly on top of the tangible interfaces found on physical objects, such as push buttons or knobs. The Reality Editor allows flexible reprogramming of the interfaces and behavior of the objects as well as defining relationships between smarter objects in order to easily create new functionalities.