Archer kids combine new technology, art

Maria, left, and Victoria, right, collaborate on their project
Maria, left, and Victoria, right, collaborate on their project at the New Tech Now event on Saturday.

Kids and volunteers met at Archer’s historical community center on Saturday to teach and learn about cutting-edge technology like 3D printing and augmented reality.

The event, through local nonprofit New Tech Now, taught kids to turn physical objects digital and create their own augmented reality scenes. The schedule also included a prize drawing and lunch.

Capital City Bank sponsored the event along with Duke Energy, the Children’s Trust of Alachua County, T-Mobile, the YMCA of North Central Florida and Motiv8u, who had volunteers to help out. Duke Energy also awarded New Tech Now with a $5,000 check to continue its summer STEAM program

Archer Mayor Iris Bailey said the community needs this type of programming and hoped Saturday’s program was just the start. 

“Hopefully the kids will be able to take what they learned and build upon it at home and in the future workplace,” Bailey said in an email. “The intent of this program is to provide kids with skills they can continue to use at home.”

The 25 attendees received a drawstring goody bag with New Tech Now and Duke Energy’s logos on the front and electronic wipes, sticky notes, art supplies and virtual reality cases for phones. 

Duke Energy representative Staci Bertrand said the event features one of the ways the company reaches for its goal of thriving communities, adding it will help develop skills needed for the workforce down the road.  

“It’s important to foster those skills early, and that’s exactly what they’re doing,” Bertrand said. 

Angela Howard, president of the YMCA of North Central Florida, speaks with an attendee filing out a survey
Photo by Seth Johnson Angela Howard, president of the YMCA of North Central Florida, speaks with an attendee filing out a survey.
Merrie Lynn Parker works with two attendees at the New Tech Now event
Photo by Seth Johnson Merrie Lynn Parker works with two attendees at the New Tech Now event in Archer on Saturday.
Radesha colors at the start of the event
Photo by Seth Johnson Radesha colors at the start of the New Tech Now event in Archer on Saturday.
Kids gather to find their correct quarter in a memory game
Photo by Seth Johnson Kids gather to find their correct quarter in a memory game at the New Tech Now event in Archer on Saturday.
John Rollins with Motiv8u rewards a attendee with a $5 bill
Photo by Seth Johnson John Rollins with Motiv8u rewards an attendee with a $5 bill at the New Tech Now event in Archer on Saturday.
Sebastian works to finish his 2D cube before turning it virtual
Photo by Seth Johnson Sebastian works to finish his 2D cube before turning it virtual at the New Tech Now event on Saturday.
Attendee uses an iPad to create an augmented reality scape using cospaces.io.
Photo by Seth Johnson A New Tech Now attendee uses an iPad to create an augmented reality scape using cospaces.io. on Saturday.
Dave TK with Duke Energy helps tape a cube together for Quilla.
Photo by Seth Johnson Dave with Duke Energy helps tape a cube together for Quilla on Saturday.
Evan plays with virtual reality goggles during the event.
Photo by Seth Johnson Evan plays with virtual reality goggles during the New Tech Now event on Saturday.
Jaziel cuts out a paper cube at the start of Digital Magic_ Art For Kids.
Photo by Seth Johnson Jaziel cuts out a paper cube at the start of Digital Magic_ Art For Kids.
Aubrey won a $20 bill during Motiv8u's opening talk.
Photo by Seth Johnson Aubrey won a $20 bill during Motiv8u’s opening talk at the New Tech Now event on Saturday.
Janalyn Peppel speaks at the New Tech Now event on Saturday
Photo by Seth Johnson Janalyn Peppel speaks at the New Tech Now event on Saturday.
New Tech Now event attendees cut out paper cubes that they will soon turn virtual.
Photo by Seth Johnson New Tech Now event attendees cut out paper cubes that they will soon turn virtual.
Sunjai adds digital elements to her cube.
Photo by Seth Johnson Sunjai adds digital elements to her cube at the New Tech Now event on Saturday.
Nicolas cuts out his cube at Saturday's event.
Photo by Seth Johnson Nicolas cuts out his cube at Saturday’s event.
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