TECHmaker Opportunity for Area Youths Offered

May 31, 2016

Through a partnership with four local entities, children in the area will have an opportunity to learn, develop and use technology in a number of ways. 

The TECHMaker Youth Academy is offered to students entering 5th through 12th grades next school year and will be held July 25-29.

“Our goal is to let the students get hands-on experience with all kinds of advanced computer applications, from T-shirt design, to developing phone apps, to producing videos and music,” said Joseph Kern, Instructional Designer at Emporia State. “These are the kinds of things that may be tough to learn on their own but that are really easy to get into after some quick instruction — then we get out of their way and let them create. We want to help them be Makers.”

Sessions will address the following areas:

  • Technology in the Arts – for students interested in expressing themselves through design
  • Coding – for the aspiring gamers and coders, 
  • Industry Design – for the young builders, 
  • Digital Media – for students interested in video production, creating animations, or building websites

Kern said the sessions will be taught by volunteers, consisting of faculty, staff, student, and alumni of the entities involved in coordinating the week-long experience: Emporia State University, Flint Hills Technical College, Emporia Public Library, with assistance from the Emporia Recreation Center.

“Bringing Flint Hills Technical College and the Emporia Public Library on board was a way to broaden our offerings and make it a real community effort,” Kern said. “The idea for the academy developed as our learning technologies team at ESU was discussing all of the cool technology used in specific areas on campus. Typically, unless students are studying in these fields in college, they might never get to see it, and without seeing it, middle school and high school students may not realize they want to pursue these areas. They might also be surprised at how learning computer skills in high school can help them in virtually any career they choose later in life.” 

While similar Maker experiences may cost from $100 to $200 for the week, Kern said one of the goals the organizers had was to keep the academy affordable for local students.

The academy will be held in Visser Hall on the Emporia State campus, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. The cost per participant is $30 and includes morning and afternoon snacks, lunches, a T-shirt, and materials to tinker with for the week.

A final showcase will be held on Friday, July 29 to highlight projects completed by students during the week. Students will develop skills to allow them the opportunity to become “Makers.”

Registration will be available in person at the Emporia Recreation Center on June 6. For more information visit or contact Joe Kern,, or at 620-341-5316.

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