WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 27, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — If you walked into the office of Tamman Technologies on the evening of Saturday November 23rd, you would’ve assumed that the teams scattered throughout the space were employees working on a deadline. The empty coffee cups and half eaten pizza slices may have signaled at just how long of a day it had been, but the quiet chatter and intense focus showed that were no signs of slowing down. Given the complexity of the site maps on the whiteboard, the discussions on how successfully their designs were meeting their client’s desired specifications, and the very intense attention to every last detail, any suggestion that this was in fact the group’s first time doing something like this would have sounded unbelievable. Yet, YouthBuild students have a habit of doing the unbelievable and this was no different.
For nearly 20 YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School students, Saturday was the capstone on a week of innovative learning and doing. On Monday the 18th, they kicked off a WebSlam, an intensive and hands-on experience where they’d develop and apply real-world skills in web design and development, including the using basics of HTML and CSS. Facilitated by the Digital Harbor Foundation, a Baltimore based non-profit organization focused on fostering innovation, tech advancement, and entrepreneurship in young people, the event would not only provide these students with valuable skills, but also map their WebSlam experience to real career pathways in STEM fields.
As each team shared their website and presented on their process, roles and challenges, their enthusiasm and passion were outweighed only by their level of technical expertise. It was clear that while the huge strides made in less than a week’s time were an accomplishment worth applauding, the WebSlam for most was only the beginning.
Albert Kim, Director of Education, YouthBuild USA, @AlbertKKim