Emoti-Con! 2012 Showcases Young Innovators and Their Digital Creations
4th Annual Digital Media and Technology Challenge Unites Youth Around Technology and Social Change
NEW YORK, May 22, 2012— There is a growing movement among teenagers in New York City to design video games, produce films and build with digital tools that promote social change around issues they are passionate about. The 4th Annual Emoti-Con! Challenge provides an opportunity for middle and high school aged youth to network with their peers and industry professionals while showcasing their projects and exploring opportunities for their future. The event will take place on Saturday, June 2nd from 12:30-4:30pm at the Parsons The New School for Design.
Emoti-Con! is designed, organized and led by youth. They are guided by a steering committee of educators and youth development professionals from Global Kids, Inc., MOUSE, New York Public Library and Parsons The New School for Design. The organizations are all members of Hive Learning Network NYC, a network of 39 non-profit organizations dedicated to creating new digital learning opportunities for youth.
Youth participants’ projects reflect a diversity of interests and skills—everything from digital comics and game design to robotics and assistive technology. They enter the Emoti-Con! Challenge where their work is judged in the following categories: Most Innovative; Most Potential for Social Impact; My Favorite Project; Most Entertaining; and Best Pitch.
Examples of some of this year’s projects include:
- MOUSE Legacy Projects: Four new technologies designed by youth participating in the MOUSE program to assist the blind and visually impaired including apps for navigation, clothing and dining.
- Beyond Bullets: Students in the Parsons Scholars program, a three-year, full scholarship college preparation program for New York City public high school students from underserved communities, created a series of PSAs for Beyond Bullets, a non-profit group that educates youth about gun violence.
- Playing For Peace: a national game design challenge co-led by Global Kids Youth leaders that generated over 1,000 youth-designed video games entries promoting an end to war.
Four highly regarded keynote speakers will provide inspiration as well as feedback on youth projects.
- Ayah Bdeir, TED Fellow and creator of littleBits, an award-winning kit of pre-assembled circuits that snap together with tiny magnets.
- Mike Edwards, software engineer at The Huffington Post, former systems designer at The American Museum of Natural History, and a graduate of Parsons The New School for Design.
- Naveen Selvadurai, Co-Founder of Foursquare.
- Jeffrey Yohalem, lead writer for the award-winning video game, Assassins Creed: Brotherhood.
“Emoti-Con! illustrates what’s possible when organizations and youth from across the city come together to celebrate their passion for creating, building, making and learning using digital media and technology,” said Chris Lawrence, Director of Hive Learning Network NYC. “The entire process – from developing their projects to meeting with successful media and technology professionals – offers youth a transformative learning and entrepreneurial experience and reveals real pathways towards college and career readiness.”
"When the youth planning committee, aka The A-Team, unites in our humble conference room headquarters at Global Kids, the result is always an extraordinary flood of ideas and inspiration,” said Sharon Mizrahi, member of the Emoti-Con A-Team and senior at Brooklyn Technical High School. “With the insight of our adult mentors, we discuss, collaborate, and even heartily debate about how to make Emoti-Con! the very best it can be. Over the course of six months, we grow as communicators, thinkers, and innovative young adults. But most importantly, we transform into the leaders of tomorrow, eager to share our journey with the world around us."
The agenda will include keynote presentations, hands-on activities and a Youth Media Expo, showcasing youth projects from several organizations, including American Museum of Natural History, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum with DreamYard, Girls Write Now, Global Kids, Institute of Play, MOUSE, Museum of African Art, New York Public Library, Parsons The New School for Design and WNYC Radio Rookies.
Winning projects and photos will be available following the event.
Organizations serving on the Emoti-Con! 2012 Steering Committee:
About Hive Learning Network
NYC: Hive Learning Network NYC is a Mozilla project that was founded through The MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media & Learning initiative to fuel collaborations between cultural organizations and create new learning pathways and innovative education practices together. Hive NYC is comprised of thirty-nine non-profit organizations—museums, libraries, media and other youth-facing organizations—that create opportunities for youth to explore their intellectual and skill-based interests using digital media and other technologies. Network members have access to funding to support this work through The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust. For more information please visit http://www.explorecreateshare.org.
Also visit http://www.facebook.com/EmotiConNYC or on Twitter @EmotiCon_NYC.
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