February Break STEAM Workshops for Kids in Westchester

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Join us the week of Feb. 20th-24th for Drop In STEAM-focused Workshops in:

Come for just the morning (9:30AM-12:00PM), the afternoon (1:00PM-3:30PM) or stay for the full day!

VIEW THE FULL SCHEDULE HERE

North Salem Students 3D Print Local Landmarks

North Salem Students 3D Print Local Landmarks


Over the past six weeks, The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) has been teaching 3D Printing to students ages 10-12 at the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library in North Salem, NY. The class used their new knowledge of 3D printing to create miniature replications of local historical buildings.

“This class puts a unique spin on our normal 3D Printing with Minecraft class. Working with the town of North Salem, we secured blueprints and drawings of a number of historical buildings in town, and the students were challenged to use Minecraft to create 3D models based on the drawings,” says Rob Kissner, President of The DAE.

Buildings modeled thus far include Delancy Hall, Croton Fall School House and Briddleside in addition to others. After receiving the blueprints, students went to work in Minecraft’s Creative Mode to map and build out each structure. Minecraft makes for an excellent modeling tool because every block is the same size, making it simple to build to scale. It’s a natural fit with kids because they don’t need to learn an abstract CAD program, but rather can use a program they are comfortable and confident with. DAE instructors love using Minecraft in a class setting because it’s accessible; building in Creative Mode is all about exploring, planning, creating and collaborating.

“I was amazed at how intricate their projects were. They all took their time to pay attention to each detail to ensure their models were accurate,” said Lory Murariu, an instructor from The Digital Arts Experience. “This project really challenged the students to think critically about the blueprints they were given and how to convert them into 3D models for print.”

Last week, The DAE took models that the students designed in Minecraft and 3D Printed them at the Makerspace inside their White Plains facility. With five 3D Printers, The DAE has created thousands of hours of student work.

The DAE hosts after school, weekend and summer STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math) programs for kids and teens ages six and up. They hold classes at their White Plains location and also send instructors throughout Westchester to teach programs at various locations. To learn more about what The DAE can teach at your school or organization, visit: https://www.thedae.com/schools.

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Contact:

Cristina Calabrese

Cristina@TheDAE.com

The Digital Arts Experience

170 Hamilton Avenue Suite 100

White Plains, NY 10601

(914) 644-8100

Kid Friendly Laptop Recommendation – Acer Chromebook 11 N7 Review – (CES Show 2017 in Vegas)

 

This week is the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. CES is where tech giants like Samsung, LG, and Panasonic as well as cutting edge tech startups show case their most innovative consumer technology. From the newest VR tech to the most cutting edge smart home devices, CES showcases everything from smartphones to internet connected washing machines. Of the amazing things I’ve seen come out of CES so far, one caught my eye that is particularly relevant to parents.

Every kid wants his or her own computer, but as a parent you have to think twice about buying your 7 year old an expensive computer that he or she might drop, step on, or spill liquid on. Acer announced at CES their Chromebook 11 N7 which will be available next month. The N7 is built to US military standards and can withstand spills, drops, and even 132 lbs of downward force on the top cover, meaning that your son or daughter can put this chromebook through the ringer and have it comes nearly unscathed on the other side!

Chromebooks are not for everyone and keep in mind that Minecraft doesn’t run on one, but we use Chromebooks regularly at The DAE because nearly all of the software teach is web based. Photo editing, 3D printing, computer programming and more can all be done with free web based software so Chromebooks are not as limiting as they used to be, not to mention all the standard computer functions like email, word processing and slideshow presentations come set up from the factory. As long as not being able to run Minecraft isn’t a deal breaker, the Acer N7 might be a great choice for your son or daughter, particularly because it will retail for $229.

To subscribe to Rob’s tech tips, visit our YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/TheDAE.

Got any questions? E-mail us at info@TheDAE.com.

New Class Offerings in January 2017 at The Digital Arts Experience

As we ring in the new year, our new semester of classes is scheduled to begin the week of January 17th with the first 6-weeks ending the week of February 28th, and the full 12-weeks the week of March 18th.

We are very excited to announce that this January we will have a total of 3 brand new class offerings for our Winter 2017 semester at The Digital Arts Experience.

Product Design, Tabletop Game Design have been added as well as a class called Minecraft Makers that will be taught by Curious on Hudson here at The DAE!

Minecraft Makers is a class in collaboration with Curious on Hudson, using a Makey Makey kit, young inventors will learn about the basic concepts of electronics, and take their Minecraft creative mode experience to the next level. Students will design a variety of controllers that they will make from wood, cardboard, and other raw materials then use these controllers to play the game. The controllers include a floor pad and handmade hoe, pick-ax and shovel. Students learn how computer inputs are used to control game play in the context of a game they already love to play.

Minecraft Makers is for ages 6-8 and will run on Saturdays from 11am to noon.

Product Design the perfect advanced class for those students who have taken an introductory 3D Printing class. Students will focus on the design process by solving real world problems and creating design solutions. Students will design, model, 3D print and test their own originally designed products. In addition, students will also design a logo and a promotional poster for their products!

Product Design is for ages 13-16 and will run on Saturdays from 12:45pm to 2:45pm.

Tabletop Game Design is another new class we are bringing to the table. First students will play different board games to examine different styles and forms of play. In the second half of the class, students will design a game using what they have learned and then work as a group to create a final product. The software used will vary depending on the designed game, however the most commonly used items are Photoshop and Illustrator for design purposes and Tinkercad for 3D printing.

Tabletop Game Design is for ages 13-16 and will run on Thursdays from 5 to 6:30pm.

For more information on our Winter 2017 schedule please visit thedae.com, call us at 914-644-8100 or email info@thedae.com

Also feel free to join us at our Open House on January 12th from 5-7pm!

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High Schoolers Use Arduino Kits to Design Safer Railroad Crossing Systems in Westchester, NY

 

The Digital Arts Experience held its first ever Design Challenge on Saturday, December 3rd. The challenge focused on rail safety, more specifically, developing safer systems for rail crossings. Given the increasing number of train accidents and in the light of the recent bills signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to require the state to study rail crossings and assess their safety, we felt that High School students would be the ideal candidates to innovate and improve the dated and ineffective technology that is currently being utilized.

The teams were provided Arduino Uno boards, which are inexpensive microprocessors, and simple buttons, switches, LEDs, motors, and sensors to create their systems. Teams from Putnam Valley High School, Mamaroneck High School, and Mt. Vernon High School registered to face this challenge. The teams had approximately five hours to design, build, and test their systems, and everyone at The DAE as well as the judges were absolutely blown away by what the teams created.

_mg_3743The students from Putnam Valley High School created a self-aware system with sensors and volumetric cameras that could assess a car or any other object on a track (i.e. a fallen tree, power line, etc.) and notify the train operator and MTA control room. What’s more is their design had multiple levels of redundancy that took human error out of the equation. For example, if the system detected a car on the tracks, the train operator, and MTA control would be notified. If the train started to approach the zone in which it could safely stop before colliding with the obstruction and the train operator did not start to slow down, the system would slow down the train automatically. This system was thoughtfully designed and excellently executed. Using the simple technology provided, they demonstrated exactly how their system would detect, communicate, and intervene when needed. It had layers of systems that constantly checked on each other to ensure that no matter what, an impact will be avoided.

_mg_3690The team from Mamaroneck High School introduced several innovative ideas with their design. To start, their design employed a super bright LED strip right before the crossing that would change colors from green to yellow to red as a train approached the crossing. This is a simple yet effective system because it is a universal system for drivers, rather than abstract signs and lights that are currently used. Their system also had an array of video cameras viewing the track from all sides so the train operator can view the crossing well before the train arrives there. In addition, their design used a system of lasers to detect if an obstruction was on the tracks. The lasers would detect when a car enters and exits a crossing, and whether the car is stuck on the tracks. In the case that a car is stuck on the tracks, the system will alert the train operator and MTA control. If the train is approaching and the obstruction hasn’t moved, their design incorporated a conveyor system that would physically move the car off the tracks.

_mg_3755The Mount Vernon team was just a single High School student due to a few no-shows on his team. What’s more is that the student did not have any prior experience with Arduino or electronics, yet he took on the challenge head on. His design incorporated simple ideas with tremendous effect. Firstly, his design incorporated extremely bright LEDs to light and indicate a crossing. Currently, crossings are not lit with any special lighting, they simply have the crossbucks sign. He also included a counter that would count down the time until a train arrived at the crossing. Finally, he included a pressure sensor that would alert the driver if there is a car on the tracks.

The judges were struck by the richness of the ideas and the degree to which the teens could implement them with the limited technology that we provided. Considering that they completed these designs in approximately 5 hours is a staggering achievement. In the end, the team from Putnam Valley High School took home the $500 prize, but each team left with prizes and a sense of fulfillment for not only completing this challenge but for creating designs that could potentially save lives.

The beauty of having high school students design these systems is that they have no preconceived notions of business, money, or government. They simply want to solve the problem. Each team showed incredible intelligence, focus, determination, and innovation and all of us at The DAE know that they are going to go on to do incredible things.  

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Rob Kissner (The DAE’s President & CEO) & Alan Brody (Founder of StartupPalooza) with the winning team.

 

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.

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DSLR Photography Classes for Adults in Westchester, Scarsdale & White Plains. Learn Aperture, ISO & Shutter Speed. Finally take that digital camera off auto!

Adults can now enroll in Digital Photography classes at the Digital Arts Experience in Westchester and surrounding communities: Scarsdale, Valhalla, Rye, Larchmont, White Plains, Tarrytown and others. In our class, students learn the three core components of a DSLR camera that will have them taking incredible photos: aperture, ISO & shutter speed.

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Our classes go over the information you need in a fun, stress-free setting and we don’t bog you down with jargon.

Enroll now: TheDAE.com/adultclasses