I don’t have to tell you, there’s a lot wrong in this world. There are homeless everywhere, lots of guns leading to lots of unnecessary deaths, women on tv and video games being nothing more than sexy bodies to stare at (instead of creative and powerful minds to listen to), police and politicians treating some races and classes better than others, advertisements everywhere making you feel bad about yourselves, kids getting bullied online, the climate changing in scary ways, people getting addicted to all sorts of things…just to name a few.

Are we just going to stand there and let this all keep on going?  Are you just a kid who has zero things to say about any of this and zero power to DO anything about this?  I. DONT. THINK. SO.

Doing something about all these problems is called Social Action.

Social action can be dangerous.  You are fighting against problems that are often caused by people with lots of money or power or both.  Going up against them is risky.  As game maker Zoe Quinn said, “lf video games have taught me anything, it’s that if you encounter enemies, then you’re going the right way.”   And remember, during this journey, even though i don’t have all the answers,  I always have your back.   Whatever you need to make your project happen, we’ll do it.  period.

This class is about doing social action with the help of technology.  The tech tools here are chosen to  M A X I M I Z E  the power of your message and help you to invent important things that may never have existed before.  Here are lots of student examples:

PPizarro- Cigarette Smoke Detecting Shirt (Video)

Wallets+Jewelry for the Homeless (Video)

LES Bug Stand (Video)

RRosario- Affordable Water Filter (Video)

NTanzim, MMunna, JPerez- Change for the Day (Video)

From Mouth to Trash (Video)

GCalandro, KClaudio, SBobbio, and EHernandez- Cosmet(h)ics (Video)

JGadson, ACabrera, and CMclaughlin- Pregnant Teen Barbie (Video)

ALarancuent- Dave (Video)

WRodriguez, RMoran, EHernandez- DIY AC (Video)

Britney Eats Insects! (Video)

JMohamed- Elephant Ivory  (Scratch Game)

NTanzim- Anti-Muslim Discrimination (Video)

ACruz- Ain’t Too Proud (Song + Lyrics)

JColon (X-Ray Goggles)

GUdechi-Cigarettes (Scratch Game)

KQuarles- Ain’t No Bullies Allowed (Song)

KQuarles- Struggle (Music)

  • Make A PLAN with Dr. Lahana so your project is doable.
  • Using these tech tools, create a project that teaches others about your social issue or invents a solution!

  • Your Lego must be about social action.   Check out some themes from First Lego League by clicking HERE.
  • Everything you create must have moving parts (No simple buildings).
  • Label your work in a Lego bucket or with a zip-lock bag
  • DO NOT touch other people’s lego projects

We have lots of AMAZING tools here in the café:  3D printers, a Cricut, jewelry making tools, sewable electronics, pyrography (burning wood to make art), leather crafts, and much more!

  • Printing takes many hours so start a new project in the meantime!

Arduino is a very small and very affordable computer (AKA microprocessor).  You can plug inputs into it like buttons, temperature sensors, and motion sensors.  You can plug outputs into it like motors, buzzers, and lights.  Put together, you can make the inputs control the outputs.  For example a button (input) can make a light (output) turn on.  A temperature sensor (input) can make a buzzer (output) sound when it gets hot.  These are simple examples, but it can get very cool very fast when you start putting inputs and outputs together and then program them.  Check out Petter’s Cigarette Smoke Detecting shirt made with an Arduino.

  • Like Petter’s shirt, your project should work to help solve a social issue.
  • Here are an Arduino book to get you started: Adventures in Arduino

  • Your GarageBand Song must be about social action- Click HERE for our SoundCloud page for examples.
  • You must have Lyrics pre-written.  No freestyling!
  • Click HERE to see how to make a hit pop song.
  • To Podcast, think of one issue or story you want to talk about.
    • Try to keep your episode to less than 5 minutes.
    • Please write an outline of what you plan on talking about and some important points you want to make.  
    • Consider interviewing others in some of your episodes– write down your questions ahead of time.
    •  Click HERE to listen to the Youth Radio Podcast.  Click HERE to listen to Radio Rookies

  • This class is about CREATING not CONSUMING.  Unless you or your friend have created the media, don’t consume it.  What do I mean:  No listening to music, watching videos, or playing games unless someone at The Island School created it.

  • Don’t count on “your” computer being there
  • Don’t count on “your” computer working
  • Save your projects to dropbox when possible or email it to yourself

  • Come to the first 3 rows for a quick talk
  • Leave your computers closed and open up your ears…I dont talk long.

  • If you don’t have a game plan, start by going to Techbrarian.com. Click through links about your social issue on the “What’s your Problem” page.  You can also look at “Social Action @ 188”.

  • Logout of all your accounts, roll up cords, headphones, and put your laptop back properly