Kiwi kids have had the chance to uncover hidden talents, increase their technology skills and learn from some of New Zealand’s top technology brains at this week’s High Tech Youth Meet Up.
More than 60 intermediate and high school students, from over 20 schools took part in the week-long event at Kia Aroha College in Manukau.
During the week they visited technology companies and trainers such as Microsoft, HP, Oktobor Animation, Media Design School and Gameloft NZ, and chose a digital project they’d like to create with the help of their peers, mentors and High Tech Studio staff.
Each project addresses a social or environmental issue that each youth is passionate about. During previous gatherings teams addressed bullying, diabetes and poverty.
Kane Milne, director of learning at the High Tech Youth Network, says all young New Zealanders should feel empowered by technology; it should inspire them to be capable, creative and confident lifelong learners.
“Technology connects young people together and unleashes hidden talent. They can be expressed through creating digital projects like videos, music and animation right through to advanced gaming development.”
A number of projects young people have developed at a High Tech Youth Studio have gone on to win awards, including being asked to produce digital media for companies and other not-for-profit groups.
Mele’ Lepa, a 17-year-old South Auckland student, from Kia Aroha College who has been selected to attend the event says, “this is about how we can use digital media to influence those around us – it gives us a voice”.
At the end of the live-in experience students will present their projects at the global Adobe Youth Voices program, and in August two of the young people will travel to San Francisco to be part of a sponsored global Teen Summit that supports youth to be creators and producers of ‘media with a socially responsible message’.
“At a time where many experts are wading in on how to fix our kids and the communities they come from, this is an opportunity for the real experts, the young people themselves, to stand-up and have their say,” says Milne.