Youth Technology Training

The Software Development for Kids Project

The Software Development for Kids (SDK) project was created to give middle and high school students the chance to experience more than the learning how to use a commercial software product. The goal is to work with kids — especially from underrepresented groups — to consider careers in the field of technology. We teach creative technology classes that either involve computer programming or some kind of human-computer interface that goes beyond keyboard and mouse. Examples of our classes include:

  • Creating a Wii Dance Game
  • Creating a Dance Arcade Game, similar to Dance Dance Revolution®
  • Computer Game Programming with Scratch
  • Computer Game Design with Kodu
  • Speech Recognition and Language
  • 3D Modeling and Augmented Reality

The Software Development for Kids project was first developed at Red Llama under the name Inspiring Youth through Technological Creativity. Since its inception, the program has received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Washington STEM, Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program, Microsoft, the City of Seattle Technology Matching Fund, and the Medina Foundation.

Culture and Technology

One of the most exciting parts of the Software Development for Kids project is a new focus on technology classes that incorporat cultural education. The idea is that kids from underrepresented groups may not feel that they belong in the technology industry. By learning about their culture and then incorporating that culture into a cutting-edge technology project, we hope to create an association between their culture and technology. The cultural education is provided by the community, and we provide the technology education.

Culture and Technology classes include:

Native American Middle School students at Tierra Madre Fund

  • Lushootseed language, ethno-botany, and speech recognition.
  • Storytelling, ethno-botany, and computer game programming.
  • Using traditional dance and structured data to create a Wii dance game.
  • Using traditional music and art and structured data to create a Dance arcade game.
  • Traditional lodges, 3D modeling, and augmented reality.

Ethiopian immigrant students at Horn of Africa Services and Multimedia Resource Training Institute

  • Ethiopian languages and speech recognition.
  • Using traditional dance and structured data to create a Wii dance game.
  • Using traditional music and art and structured data to create a Dance arcade game.
  • Ethopian architecture, 3D modeling, and augmented reality.

Dance Dance Revolution® machine created by Native American students, demonstrated at the University of Washington Powwow.

Wii Dance Class: Ethiopian music, dance and images.

3D Modeling Class: Traditional Native lodges