The following is from a press release announcing the winners of Emoti-Con! 2012:
Last Saturday, 100 tweens, teens and educators from across NYC gathered at Parsons The New School for Design for the 4th Annual Emoti-Con! digital media and technology festival. Throughout the day, youth showcased their digital creations, networked with their peers and industry professionals, competed for prizes, and engaged in a dialogue about the role of digital media and technology in their lives now and looking ahead to the future.
The Emoti-Con! 2012 winning projects were:
- Best Pitch and Crowd Favorite – The Dining Band, a location- and temperature-sensor wrist band to assist the blind or visually impaired with eating; designed and developed by high schoolers Zainab Oni, Jose Parra, Omar Abreu, Omar Nasr, Winston La, Youssef Saab, and Edvinas Pavliukoit through their work with MOUSE
- Most Potential for Social Impact – Stop and Frisk, a multimedia documentary about stop and frisk policies employed by the NYPD, produced by Vincent Marrero, a high school junior, through his participation in the WNYC Radio Rookies initiative
- Most Entertaining – Run! is a space-themed video game built on Scratch and Arduino, designed and programmed by Merlin DeForest and Axel Lucero, 6th graders in Institute of Play’s after school program, Short Circuit
- Most Innovative - The T.A.P. project, a series of assistive technology inventions that offer easy solutions to everyday tasks involving fine motor skills, designed and created by high school students Khaleel Anderson, Matthew Kendall, William Turner, and Anthony Winston through their work with the MOUSE Squad at P256Q
Other student projects included Serious Game prototypes, LED artwork, videos and podcasts on topics ranging from neighborhood culture to truancy to horror films to immigration, physical computing projects such as homemade video game controllers, graphic design projects, additional assistive technology projects for the visually impaired, and projects made on 3D printers. Youth from DreamYard, The Parsons Scholars Program, Girls Write Now, Global Kids, WNYC Radio Rookies, MOUSE, New York Public Library, and Institute of Play all presented projects.
In addition to the winners, other featured projects included:
- Beyond Bullets: Students in the Parsons Scholars program, a three-year, full scholarship college preparation program for New York City public high school students from underserved communities, created a series of PSAs for Beyond Bullets, a non-profit group that educates youth about gun violence.
- Playing For Peace: a national game design challenge co-led by Global Kids Youth leaders that generated over 1,000 youth-designed video games entries promoting an end to war.
The keynote speakers, who also served as anonymous judges to identify the finalists, presented on their own career trajectories and provided inspiration to the future tech leaders:
- Ayah Bdeir, TED Fellow and creator of littleBits, an award-winning kit of pre-assembled circuits that snap together with tiny magnets
- Mike Edwards, software engineer at The Huffington Post and alumnus of Parsons The New School for Design
- Naveen Selvadurai, Co-Founder of Foursquare
- Jeffrey Yohalem, lead writer for the award-winning video game, Assassins Creed: Brotherhood
The event was designed, organized and led by a group of youth dubbed The A-Team, and they received guidance from a steering committee of educators and youth development professionals from Global Kids, Inc., MOUSE, New York Public Library and Parsons The New School for Design. All participating organizations are members of Hive NYC.
Congratulations to everyone that won awards and helped make this year’s Emoti-Con! a success!