Baltimore BOOM! Academy

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Baltimore BOOM! Academy is an East Baltimore focused program that works to teach and support technology-related entrepreneurship to young adults ages 18-30 who are hard to employ or at high risk of poverty. We partner with existing resident-led initiatives to expand their programming to host workshops in the communities we are trying to reach. We connect technology careers to populations excluded from the information revolution. We connect advanced high-tech skills directly to monetization, and spark new economic development within historically disadvantaged communities by empowering residents themselves.
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Vincent Purcell
Vincent Purcell
vpurcell@mica.edu
859 420 2437

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March 3, 2014
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Participants in a BOOM! Workshop learned the fundamentals and potential of 3D fabrication by creating name tags and opening a storefront online to sell their creations.
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Learning by doing from the start: at the beginning of the workshop, each participant learned and taught each other how to use a Kinect sensor to create 3D scans of each other.
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Dave and Sinclair, two participants who'd never seen a 3D printer before this workshop, watched our 3D printer create an object during the workshop.
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Upon completion of the introduction to 3D fabrication workshop, every participant received a certificate and a 3D printed medallion to take home.
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We connect 3D technology immediately to revenue with an online storefront selling objects we created to help fund more workshops going forward to reach more neighbors in our community.
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High-technology careers account for massive amounts of investment and growth worldwide, yet people who need this economic development most are unable to access it. In many Baltimore communities, there is little access and no support for high-tech learning. Worst of all, people define success as being able to leave the city.

 
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We layer technology education within existing community groups and demonstrate the economic opportunity of learning high tech skills. By showing how little resources needed to learn them, we hope to generate profits to benefit the individual, and provide incentives to stay and help rebuild our community from within.