Are High School Students Smarter than a Railroad Engineer?

(White Plains, October 24th, 2016) The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, Westchester, NY announces the first teen challenge that tests the creativity of High school students using ultra-low cost technology to bring significant tech solutions to infrastructure problems.

This one day “hackathon” in December, at their center in downtown White Plains will host teams from area high schools that will compete to build a better railroad safety systems using extremely low-cost sensors and controllers.

The contest will be mentored by science teachers who will shepherd the students through the usage of Arduino controllers, inexpensive sensors and a simple programming language.

“The accessibility of powerful, low cost technology coupled with the uninhibited, innovative minds of the youth of today should make this an exciting event,” says DAE Director, Rob Kissner. “High Schools students are extraordinarily creative and technically inclined and may provide us with new ideas and insights that completely change the way we look at public safety in all industries.”

“The great thing about youth is that they are not beholden to the past and bring really fresh thinking,” says co-organizer Alan Brody, a tech entrepreneur, startup coach and author.

The Future – Collisions Anywhere
The kinds of ultra-cheap technology the teens will develop in this one day contest could be used anywhere that a collision is possible, such as with pillars in parking lots, shopping carts and parked cars and even with aiding the elderly or the blind.

The grand prize of $500 is being donated by the Brody family of Edgemont in honor of Ellen Schaeffer Brody and the victims who were lost or injured at the tragic incident in Valhalla in 2015.

ABOUT THE SATURDAY NOVEMBER 12th PROGRAM

The Challenge
Each team will have the same set of tools: an Arduino Uno microprocessor, various basic sensors (light, pressure, temperature sensors, etc.), and various simple output devices (LEDs, buzzers, motors, etc.). Teams will design, build and test their systems in real world scenarios with aid of mentors throughout the process.

The Cost of the Tech
The total cost of each construct is expected to be under $50 – in some cases as low as $20.

Free to Participate
This challenge is open to all high school students and is free to participate. DAE will provide all controller and sensor equipment although students are free to supplement if they wish.

To participate go to tinyurl.com/ArduinoTeenChallenge.

teentechchallenge_flyer

 

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Digital Arts Education Center Celebrates 4th Anniversary With New Youth STEM Programs

Digital Arts Education Center Celebrates 4th Anniversary With New Youth STEM Programs

WHITE PLAINS, NY – July, 2016.

On Friday, July 22nd, The Digital Arts Experience (DAE) will mark its fourth year in business with an open event at their education and training center in White Plains, as past and present students and their parents will gather with DAE staff to celebrate the occasion with refreshments, live music and hands-on demonstrations of new interactive technology. Each year, the DAE announces new courses, programs and resources, including the DAE Express Mobile Classroom, and a Makerspace featuring four 3D Printers and other maker-inspired equipment.

“Our anniversary party allows us to feature all of the new programs and technology we’ve made over the past year, and introduce our summer courses for youth in the region” says Director of Marketing & Communications and Co-Founder, Cristina Calabrese. “It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we opened our new Makerspace, which has been so well received by parents and students who are so engaged in working with our 3D Printing and software programs we offer. We’ve also expanded our course offerings, and the DAE staff. It’s wonderful to meet so many talented and inspired individuals who share the same passions in digital art and STEM education as we do ”.  The DAE stresses the importance of having kids learn new skills in a fun, highly interactive, non-competitive environment. At the 4th Anniversary Celebration, attendees will have a chance to tinker with 3D Printing, augmented reality and more, and parents can learn more about the DAE Summer STEM Camp programs that started July 5th for kids ages 6-18.

The DAE anniversary celebration is open to the public and is located at The Digital Arts Experience, 170 Hamilton Avenue in White Plains. Limited seating is available at $10 per ticket, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Westchester Library System (WLS),  which has been a close partner of The DAE since its opening.

 

These proceeds will all go towards supporting mini incentive grants that help libraries promote active learning and community engagement in their areas. These mini grants are integral to providing fantastic free programs to people of all ages in Westchester.

 

To register, visit DAE4Year.Eventbrite.com and RSVP or, for more information, contact The Digital Arts Experience at (914) 644-8100 or info@thedae.com

 

About The Digital Arts Experience (DAE)

The Digital Arts Experience was founded in 2012 in response to the increasing demand from students and their parents to help develop their interest in all things digital. Founder and President Rob Kissner recognized the opportunity to offer area youth a collaborative, creative community in which they could learn, explore, and share new ideas using cutting edge technology. Rob has turned this concept into a reality by bringing together instructors with skills and experience teaching digital arts to the youth population at  DAE’s 8,000 sq foot state-of-the-art facility in White Plains.

 

The DAE offers students hands-on training and guidance in classrooms that offer them hands-on experience working with the most cutting edge creative software, a Makerspace with 3D printers and scanners, a fully equipped multimedia studio and more. In 2014, The DAE launched a new mobile STEM lab, dubbed The Digital Arts Express to meet the demands for after-school programs on-location in Westchester and Fairfield Counties. The DAExpress is focused on making The DAE’s cutting edge technology and STEM curriculum accessible to all youth in Westchester & Connecticut.

 

The DAE provides a unique, personalized experience for every student who enrolls in their after-school, school break or summer programs. DAE instructors are experienced and passionate about teaching digital arts to youth from age 6 through 21, and they are continuously involved with expanding The DAE course catalog with leading edge technology and teaching techniques. The DAE culture promotes innovation and engagement, and ensures that each student are able to access what they need to help further explore their creative passions. The DAE’s classes and camps provide students with opportunities to explore digital arts and the world of technology in a fun, collaborative and dynamic environment. For more information, visit www.TheDAE.com.

 

 

The DAE Hosts Minecraft Tournament at George Washington Elementary School

On Saturday, November 22nd, Rob Kissner and Cristina Calabrese of The Digital Arts Experience drove their Mobile STEM Classroom, The DAExpress, to George Washington Elementary school in White Plains, Westchester NY for a mobile Minecraft tournament!

The students at George Washington Elementary in White Plains, NY get ready to build a replica of their own school in Minecraft!

The students at George Washington Elementary in White Plains, NY get ready to build a replica of their own school in Minecraft!

Whether or not you like Minecraft, kids are simply obsessed with it. Often described as an open ended “sandbox” or virtual LEGO world, it allows the user to essentially create anything they can imagine. Some kids create elaborate homes, others medieval castles. Some opt to recreate famous architectural structures. Whether it’s a small wooden hut or The Great Wall of China, it encourages kids to explore, use their imagination and it certainly promotes creative thinking and teamwork. 

According to an article written by Margaret Rock in Modern Parent entitled Hey, Parents. What Minecraft Is Doing to Your Kids Is Kind of Surprising:

The mystery of Minecraft’s near-hypnotic effect boils down its flexibility, engagement and community. Like most things, it can be taken to extremes. But overall, kids strategize, plan and connect with one another, learning how to set goals and work together to complete a task.

In accordance with PTA President Laura Reidy, Rob and Cristina hosted students 10 at a time who had signed up for different time slotted rounds and were given the challenge to build their own school using Minecraft’s creative mode. Rob and Cristina chose a winner and 2 runner ups from each round who were then entered in to compete in a final round to battle against all of the other winners!

The final round challenged the students to build the Eiffel Tower in France. Students took their creative energy and resources to not only construct their own twist on the Eiffel Tower, but to also create stunning scenery around the tower. 

The winner of the tournament was given a free Minecraft party in The DAExpress at a time of her choosing. All participants left with 3D Printed creepers as well as gift certificates to The DAE!

Rob Kissner and Cristina Calabrese pose with the winners of the George Washington Elementary Minecraft tournament.

Rob Kissner and Cristina Calabrese of The Digital Arts Experience pose with the winners of the George Washington Elementary Minecraft tournament.

All in all, the tournament was a huge success. Students were extremely focused, well behaved and driven to do their best. The DAE never hesitates to say yes to a Minecraft tournament because even though Minecraft is a video game, it has strong educational value as well.

Accoding to Minecraft in Education as featured on Minecraftwiki: 

Minecraft can have huge educational benefits for children; it can help teach numerous subjects both with and without adult involvement. Learning in Minecraft can be faster than traditional methods of education, as children are often far more motivated, get more practice, and feel that what they are learning is useful.

The DAE believes that because kids can be so focused and engaged in Minecraft, it is the perfect educational tool to supplement learning. For example, The DAE runs a 3D Minecraft Animation class, where students use an advanced 3D Animation software called Blender to model their own original characters. By the final class, students create their own animated shorts with unique storylines that can even be used for a portfolio. View the video below to see an example of student work in our 3D Minecraft Animation class: 

The class in itself is a 3D Animation & Modeling class, but we use Minecraft characters for several reasons. For one, Minecraft characters and objects are all block and cube shaped so they are non complex and easy to model in a 3D space. Also, Minecraft is a huge attractor to kids, so learning a complicated 3D Animation software is masked by the fact that they are driven to create something they are interested in.

The DAE also runs a Minecraft Modding & Java class that serves as a Part II class to their Java Coding 101. In the Modding class, kids use their skill in Java, a high-end, industry standard coding language used to create various programs such as Android apps, to create their own modifications to Minecraft. Minecraft in itself is programmed using Java code, so the class allows students to open it up, explore, change things around, experiment and create their own customizations to the game!

Another class The DAE runs that can be related to Minecraft is 3D Printing. While in most 3D Printing classes, kids are encouraged to engineer and model their own original objects, many kids choose to create Minecraft themed models. What’s great about 3D Printing is that the final result is kids get to actually print their models to take home! It starts off with an idea, then transforms into a model, and finishes with physically printing a 3D object. Talk about full circle! 

Interested in learning more? View our upcoming January 2015 class schedule here: https://campscui.active.com/orgs/TheDigitalArtsExperience#/selectSessions/630701.

The Digital Arts Experience Unveils Mobile Computer Lab, Showcases New Classes for September

Sep. 4, 2014WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.On Wednesday, September 10th, The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) team will open their doors and welcome the Westchester community into their 8,000 sq. ft. facility to learn about exciting new after school and weekend tech programs. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of classes that are available this Fall, as well as meet the instructors and interact hands-on with the latest digital arts tools and technologies.  In addition, the DAExpress Mobile Computer Lab will be parked on premises, with tours being offered throughout the evening.

The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, Westchester NY will host an Open House on Wednesday, Sept. 10th showcasing their After School & Saturday programs for kids and teens.

The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, Westchester NY will host an Open House on Wednesday, Sept. 10th showcasing their After School & Saturday programs for kids and teens.

“Our open house is the best way to discover and experience what DAE classes are all about. There is only so much you can learn from reading a brochure, but when you come into our facility, meet our team, view student work from previous classes and and actually get to experience our technology hands on, you’ll get a much better sense of our classes and how we work,” says Rob Kissner, Founder & President of the Digital Arts Experience.

The DAE will introduce a number of new and exciting classes to their fall catalog including LEGO® Mindstorm Robotics, Minecraft Modding with Java, DJing Like a Pro, Holiday-themed 3D Printing workshops and more. These will be offered in addition to previously existing classes in 3D Printing & Modeling, Animation, Digital Music Production, Computer Programming, Graphic Design, Arduino and Visual FX & Video. Attendees will also meet The DAE’s talented team of industry active instructors and experience class work and projects firsthand. Each instructor will be posted at various stations around the facility with computers and technology in order to provide attendees with an opportunity to experience DAE classes first hand. Plus, same-day registrants will receive 10% off of tuition.

This event is open to the public on Wednesday, September 10th between the hours of 5:00pm and 8:00pm at the Digital Arts Experience: 170 Hamilton Ave. Suite 100 in White Plains, NY.

ABOUT THE DIGITAL ARTS EXPERIENCE:  The Digital Arts Experience offers after school programs and summer camps for kids and teens in White Plains, Westchester, using the most up to date digital arts tools and technologies. From 3D Printing to Animation, Coding, Computer Programming, Graphic Design, Robotics, Web Design and more, The Digital Arts Experience’s 8,000 sq. ft. facility boasts four media labs, a photo/video studio, and professional recording studio.

Learn more and REGISTER at http://www.TheDAE.com, email info@TheDAE.com or call 914-644-8100.

Contact
The Digital Arts Experience
info@TheDAE.com

Ring in the New Year: Family Friendly New Year Activities in Westchester

The Digital Arts Experience is excited to support the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District and our friends at Harquin Creative Group by helping Ring in the New Year on December 31st at New Roc City.

Ring in the new year new rochelle

According to NewRochelleNY.com the festivities are set to begin at 10:30 am and will feature face painting, arts and crafts, martial arts and sports demonstrations, snacks, clowns, magicians, games and more. At noon, 325th Anniversary Chair Marianne Sussman and committee members will join radio personality Jimmy Fink of 107.1 The Peak to ring in 2014 in true Times Square fashion with a thrilling release of thousands of festive, brightly-colored balloons!

Ring in the New Year Balloon Drop

If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly way to spend your new year (where you won’t be out too late!), definitely check out Ring in the New Year tomorrow, bright and early!

Ring in the New Year Kids

Computer Science Education Week Dec. 9th – 15th : The Hour of Code 2013!

Computer Science Education Week Dec. 9th – 15th : The Hour of Code 2013!

At The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, NY, we are proud to offer computer programming and coding classes after school, on weekends and summer break for kids and teens. With December 9th – 15th, 2013 being “Computer Science Education Week”, we wanted to highlight the importance of the initiative as well as raise awareness in the Westchester community.

There is currently a plethora of social media coverage and support this week and the goal is to get more educators and schools involved. Not only is learning code an incredibly valuable skill, but it’s actually fun and not that difficult to learn!

According to Computer Science Education Week:

  • Computer science is a top paying college degree and computer programming jobs are growing at 2X the national average

  • Exposure to CS leads to some of the best-paying jobs in the world. But 75% of our population is underrepresented

  • 9 out of 10 schools don’t offer computer programming classes

“We need young Americans like you to master the tools and technology that will change the way we do just about everything,” he said in his video. “Don’t just buy a new video game, make one. Don’t just download the latest app, help design it. Don’t just play on your phone, program it.” – President Obama, calling on U.S. students to learn code.

We implore you to check out Code.org and learn an #HourOfCode! Take the challenge and find out for yourself that anybody can learn. Tweet your progress at @Codeorg and join the conversation with thousands of others!

In the same breath, we are very excited to announce that we have opened up even more computer programming classes for younger kids and teens. Starting in January 2014, we will be running Game Programming with Scratch classes for kids as young as 7.

Additionally, we will offering more coding classes in Processing, Java, and HTML for kids ages 9 and up. Check out what classes we will be offering and encourage your kid and their friends to get on board and take the initiative to learn code!

Our classes are small sized, 100% hands on, goal oriented, and designed to give real world exposure. Set up a class for your kids and their friends today! Give us a call at (914) 644-8100 or e-mail Cristina@TheDAE.com to get you started!

3D Printing Classes in Westchester

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We are excited to announce the arrival of our new MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer. 3D printing technology has been in the news, on TV, and all over the Internet. It has revolutionized medicine, manufacturing, and even space travel. To many, 3D printing is simply very “neat” technology. It is our goal at The DAE to prove that this incredible technology offers a lot more than the ability to print cool objects.

There are a number of different 3D printing technologies, including industrial printers that create objects from metal or ceramic. Our printer uses a process called extrusion deposition and creates objects from plastic. In other words, it has what is similar to the head of a glue gun that heats, melts and extrudes plastic filament. The heated plastic is laid out layer by layer and the object being created is built from the bottom up. The material is inexpensive, the process is fairly quick, and the objects created come out magnificent!

photo 4

A completely working nut & bolt, created by our Makerbot 3D Printer


We look at our MakerBot as a tool. It is really neat and it’s fun to create abstract shapes and cool objects, but our focus is on how it can be used as a tool to solve problems. For example, The DAE was incorrectly shipped 200+ rolls of toilet paper that don’t fit on a traditional holder. The hole through the center of the roll is smaller in diameter than a tradition toilet paper core. Rather than throw away the rolls, we fabricated a new core using a free piece of software called TinkerCad, and printed the new cores with our MakerBot.

Using the MakerBot in this scenario requires the creativity and imagination to conceive of a product that solves the problem at hand. It requires the skills to accurately measure and model the product to the correct dimensions. And it requires the knowledge and technique to print the product in the most efficient way. Our goal is to facilitate the development of these skills in our classes, using the MakerBot to do so.

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Join us December 17th for our special “Discover 3D Printing Technology” event and check out this technology for yourself: http://dae3drelease.eventbrite.com/