Recap of Luma Lab’s Summer of Tech

Luma Lab recently concluded a second season of technology-immersive summer camps in DC. We worked with over 50 students ages 10-14 at two Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater of Washington clubhouses (in Wards 5 and 7) and Georgetown Day School. These summer camps ranged from 2-8 weeks long. Our teaching staff consisted of computer science upperclassmen from local and regional universities and one teacher from Prince George’s County Public Schools.

At each camp, students were presented the same challenge: identify a problem you see in your community and solve the problem using technology (specifically through the use of a mobile application). Using this challenge, students worked in teams to brainstorm and execute their concept. At the end of every program, teams present their prototype in from of an audience and a panel of judges (comprised of technology professionals) and compete for prizes.

With this prompt, students were exposed to and applied industry best practices to develop solutions to community problems. The program is divided into three units; ideation & design, prototyping & programming, pitching & presentation. More than 80% of our students had never programmed before; none of our students had participated in a pitch event.

Students learned how to paper prototype, create wireframes (using FluidUI), write HTML, CSS, JavaScript and developed their public speaking skills through pitch decks and oral presentations.

Some of our campers’ prototypes included:

An app for tourists – helping individuals navigate around heavy foot traffic areas of the city (“waze for tourism”)

A fashion app – allows sneaker enthusiasts to customize and design their own sneakers and purchase them from affiliate shoe companies

Winners of our first Summer Pitch Event at GDS and creators of the lifepath app

A lifepath