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Owners Illustrated Magazine & Toyz Electronics, LLC Collaborate to Bring VR, Coding & STEM Outreach to the Washington Auto Show

Wole Idowu & the Betterville Mavens. A group of Washington DC & PG County Students He mentors and teaches coding

Wole teaching the Betterville Mavens coding

Miguel Richardson and Zachariah teaching students at Carnegie Mellon University Music Production

Family Weekend at Carnegie Mellon with VR

Family Weekend at Carnegie Mellon with VR

Damola recording music with students at Carnegie Mellon University

Toyz Electronics, LLC founder Wole Idowu bringing students from PG County Maryland, Washington DC, and Ohio to tour Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center

Students from Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School in DC to participate in a coding and VR technology experience at the Washington Auto Show hosted by Owners Illustrated magazine and Toyz Electronics founders.

Washington, DC – Owners Illustrated magazine, a leading urban entrepreneurial lifestyle publication, and Toyz Electronics, LLC, a Carnegie Mellon University startup, will partner to bring an engaging coding and creative technology training for DC Public School students to the Washington Auto Show on January 25th, 2018.

Damola Idowu and son Wole Idowu, a native of Washington, DC, believe that the future of technology is in the hands of DC Public School students today.  Of his approach, Damola Idowu states, “Many jobs in the auto industry require coding.  Early exposure will be critical to training the workforce of the future. I’m thrilled to be bringing this to the Washington Auto Show.”

“STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is critically important to the future of our country, not to mention the automotive industry,” said Washington Auto Show President and CEO John O’Donnell. “We are excited to host this initiative at The Washington Auto Show.”

Damola, a Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) member, has now partnered with the Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School in DC to empower DC students to get into technology fields and become part of the auto industry in the future. Of the collaboration, Amy Quinn, Director of Teaching and Learning at the Yu Ying public charter school said, “We look forward to this collaboration and future collaborations with Mr. Idowu.”

Wole organizes Innovation Conferences held at Carnegie Mellon University each semester and Miguel Richardson, the music producer who leads the music production portion of these events, will be on hand to engage the students in music technology.  Wole will teach the students to code for VR and an Android smart watch called the TZN1 that he is developing on the Carnegie Mellon Campus.

The TZN1 will also play a large role in teaching the students coding as part of a mobile driving game.  Students will take pictures using the TZN1 watches and be able to learn a line of code and share the pictures.  Wole Idowu states, “I hope to bring a great session at the Auto Show to showcase and for the students at Yu Ying to learn from, grow, and develop their skills to become excellent developers, leaders, and innovators of the future.”

Throughout the entire run of the show, from January 26th through February 4th, multiple VR stations will be set up on the show floor.  Additionally, there will be a gaming section where attendees of the Auto Show can play driving focused video games.

Founder and Editor in Chief, Damola Idowu, created Owners Illustrated magazine in the District of Columbia in 2002.  He is bringing a proven formula that helped his son, Wole, graduate high school and be featured on CNBC at age 15.  Wole, who was raised in Ward 8 DC, started school at age 4 at the World Public Charter School in their Mandarin immersion program and was exposed to technology at an early age.  He graduated in 2017 from Carnegie Mellon University with an Electrical and Computer Engineering Degree.

For more information on the outreach and coding program, visit or contact Damola Idowu @ or 202-607-3629.


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TNGL HackHarassment Event (Spring 2017)

Here’s a write-up of the events we did with our campaign with #HackHarassment. #HackHarassment is a joint initiative is working with Intel, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, and Vox Media with the goal of putting a stop to online harassment, an issue that affects 70% of young adults.

ToyzNation Gaming League, an official Carnegie Mellon Student organization has been hosting several #HackHarassment events involving an international Hip Hop Artist, Carnegie Mellon’s Music Department, Carnegie Mellon’s IDeATe program, professional producers, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center, and participants from across the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest region coming together to collaborate on how we all can put a stop to online harassment once and for all

With our event in April we continued work on the PSA “Stop the Bullying”. At the event, we shared the lyric sheet and brought a professional music producer who was able to record students thoughts on online harassment that was placed over the original music we created and could be shared over multiple platforms. In addition, we brought people together from diverse backgrounds to experience Intel’s platforms from Virtual Reality with a Skylake gaming system we built for portable computing. We also involved Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center for where people were able to experience games created from diverse group of developers. Our participants ranged from a variety of ethnicities, ages, genders, disciplines, universities and majors coming from Ohio and the Washington DC area along with students from Pittsburgh. This included young K-12 students participating also.

This campaign is an ongoing thing. We hosted a smaller second event the week after. We continued the discussion with with a gaming event and an engaging discussion between students on how they can collaborate with others to end online harassment, particularly in the online gaming community.

See some photos and videos from our events below.

Learn more about #Hackarassmnt and how to be involved at

Also, check out the PSA and remix on our Soundcloud at:






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TNGL Weekend Hackathon February 2017

Our 4th TNGL Weekend: Hackathon and Innovation Conference in February was one of our most engaging and diverse event yet. We had participants from the D.C., Ohio and the Pittsburgh area. With this event we set to show anyone can be an innovator given the resources and incentives. We hosted guest speakers and sessions from Autodesk, Google, EA Sports, Def Jam Recordings, Da Great Deity Dah, Cleveland Clinic, Owners Illustrated, The Entertainment Technology Center and the Future Interfaces Group who engaged with students to help them shape their vision

Autodesk held an API talk along with a live demo session teaching students how to utilize Fusion 360, Maya, and Mudbox by experienced professionals Brian Ekins and Housein Cornell. In addition, there was onsite student led session with Fusion 360 and help throughout the event provided by Lucas Ewing, Program Manager at Autodesk EDU. He along with the additional sessions were able to help guide students to create and learn how to create 3D designs for the first time.

We held a very engaging Google Hangout Q&A session with the Google Android Wear team and Sensors team where students were able to ask questions about their application ideas and get a better understanding of how to turn their visions into a reality. Students were also able to develop their wearable app ideas using the Toyz Watch, an Android 5.1 smartwatch available to students.

We had a live music production session with DJs, Professional Producers teaching students how to create professional music. We also brought Hip Hop Artist Da Great Deity Dah, who with the Music Department of Carnegie Mellon helped us create our PSA for our #HackHarassment campaign called “Stop The Bullying” at the Vlahakis Recording Studio at Carnegie Mellon onsite. The PSA has then since added student voices and is being shared throughout the internet and across the world.

Gierad Laput of the Future Interfaces Group gave a captivating speech to students to open their minds of the utilization of wearables and sensors that are in products we use today. With his talk, he showed students how wearables can expand from their original intentions and how this can be done utilizing what we have today showcasing his research, done at the Future Interfaces Group lab.

We had a very engaging and inspiring session with Thomas Corbett who spoke about the future of gaming along with the need of diversity in the industry. He gave a wonderful talk that connected the diversity of teams to the ideas created and thus a more encompassing and creative game that can transcend what can be made by a team of similar minds.

John Dzurik form the Cleveland Clinic gave a informative and stimulating talk about the connection between health, medicine and technology and the innovation (and opportunities) that comes from it. It was engaging for students to see the intersection between these fields and were able to ask questions to an award winning veteran with experiences in entrepreneurship, technology and medicine about opportunities available to them.

Quincy Taylor, who works in various capacities with Def Jam records, spoke once again to students at length about the recording industry covering topics such as artist management and pursuing a career in the recording industry. He was able to guide students who had ideas in both music and technology on how they can utilize their talents and ideas to create game changing applications for the evolving music industry

Damola Idowu was able to give an exhilarating talk on hip hop and business, with experiences both as a veteran international Hip Hop artist and speaking on building his own successful company, starting with a flyer to creating Owners Illustrated, the premier magazine for Hip Hop and Urban Entrepreneurship covering topics in Music, Automotive, Technology, Gaming and more.

We wrapped up our event with a talk with Roy Harvey, GM of Madden NFL at EA Sports where students were able to get a better understanding of the gaming industry and game development process. Students were also able to ask questions they had involving gaming and showcase some of the apps they’ve been working on throughout the hackathon.

Students were able to develop interdisciplinary and creative apps combining talents, including an application to be utilized for wearables allowing one to control music through gestures only, i.e. a Gesture DJ. Throughout the event students were also able to interact and play with Virtual Reality and Console gaming with the Oculus, XBox One and HTC Vive. Da Great Deity Dah was able to bring 2 of his producers who used the equipment provided by the IDEATE department, along with an extensive amount of technology they transported from DC to teach students how to produce music

Students continued their apps and we are excited to see what is to come in our next events as we move forward throughout the year. Please stay tuned!

Check out TNGL on facebook at:


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TNGL Weekend Hackathon November 2016

The November 2016 Toyz Nation Gaming League (TNGL) hackathon weekend was a tremendous success!
It was our most diverse event yet, with various elements encompassing Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virtual Reality and Game Development, Music Production, Wearable technology, and career development. Thanks to the support of Jelena Kovacevic, head of the ECE department, Drew Davidson, Tom Corbett, from I.D.E.A.T.E, Jesse from the Music department, Oculus, Jecolia from the Sensors team at Google, my dad who brought his music producers Zack, and Miguel, along with his colleague Quincy Taylor from DefJam records, and most of all the students who came from far and wide we were able to boast a unique blend of art and technology.
Students were able to learn about music production, create beats, and develop virtual reality games for Oculus using VR capable rigs transported from the DC Area.
Many students also got to experience the Android Studio environment for the first time using the Android 5.1 smartwatch which my startup Toyz Electonics has been developing on campus. Several students were able to ask Jecolia questions about their application ideas via a live briefing and Q & A session from Google headquarters.
Additionally, students developed apps as diverse as cooking directions with Youtube integration and a medical monitor app, both supported by our wearable technology. This feat was impressible, especially since some teams had never been exposed to Android development.

In the 90s my dad had a hip-hop group Da Great Deity Dah and currently his music is sold in over 30 countries spanning 5 continents. He was able to bring 2 of his producers who used the equipment provided by the IDEATE department, along with an extensive amount of technology they transported from DC to teach students how to produce music. For many students this was their first time with such an experience. It was truly interdisciplinary in nature: engineering students recognized their artistic potential while making remixes to songs from my father’s hip-hop classic Declaration of War, released in 1998. Quincy Taylor, who works in various capacities with Def Jam Records spoke to students at length about the recording industry covering topics such as artist management and pursuing a career in the recording industry.
TNGL entertained participants from DC area schools which included University of Maryland, George Mason University, and Trinity College. Additionally, local schools participated such as the University of Pittsburgh. The exciting thing about the virtual reality games was that students were able to play test games that were developed at the Hackathon and gave incredible insight to aspiring virtual reality game developers. We also incorporated social media via live streaming so potential students who were visiting were able to participate in the event. Followup Job Opportunities in both Music and Engineering fields were available to participants who attended this event. Overall this event was a huge success and we look forward to our next event slated for February 2017!
Here are some photos attached below, for a link of all photos and videos (which will continuously be updated) please click this link! Thank you!
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Second TNGL Weekend April 2016

At our second TNGL Weekend, April 8th-10th (hackathon/gaming tournament) event, A lot of students came by from multiple disciplines including several from our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department and they were able to decompress and have a good time. My dad and his associate brought vr capable gaming PCs so people were able to play with the Oculus Rift and the Gear VR. Prospective students and their parents also had a great time and even professors Tom Corbett and Bill Nace.

I am most proud of our winners of the hackathon. Attached below is a video of the winners of our event from Saturday. They are three freshman girls who were not in ECE but were inspired by The Toyz Watch that I have been working on during my time at CMU. Check out video below

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TNGL Inaugural Hackathon At Carnegie Mellon

The weekend of November 13th to 15th 2015, a group of CMU students gathered in Hunt TNGL Weekend Report. During the weekend of November 13th through the 15th, a group of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) students gathered in Hunt Library Studio B for the first-ever TNGL (Toyz Nation Gaming League) Weekend. TNGL Weekend is a hackathon/game jam aimed at motivating a diverse range of students to collaborate in projects, utilizing both technology and creativity.

The event was a success and a great learning experience! For 48 hours, beginning Friday, November 13th, four teams raced to build a game. Friday night was utilized for idea-generating and planning. After taking a break to sleep at 12am and returning at 9am on Saturday for breakfast, the work truly began and continued until 12pm on Sunday. A total of 10 participants and 11 observers attended the event with diversity achieved on multiple levels: majors of study, school/class year, ethnicity, gender, and race, meeting a big part of the gaming league’s goal to achieve innovation and creativity through a diverse body of participants.

Throughout the event, many informative discussions took place that transformed into impromptu lectures with TNGL’s faculty advisor, Thomas Corbett, Associate Producer with Electronic Arts and EA Special Faculty for the Entertainment Technology Center at CMU. These discussions involved next generation technology and the future of gaming, including but not limited to Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Biometrics.

At the event’s conclusion, the four teams presented their projects: an in-progress VR experience using the Kinect and Oculus Rift, a text-based two-player game written in Python, a Unity-based reaction-time game set in an eternal train tunnel, and a level-based platformer game with interactive music elements.

The founder, Wole Idowu, also presented a long-running project, a Personal Portable Server (PPS1) using Intel’s platform: a Z3735F quad core processor with 2GB of RAM; a Windows 10 operating system; and wireless charging capabilities for mobile devices. The presentation began an engaging discussion on the Internet of Things and useful applications. Through this experience, the TNGL officers learned many things that they plan to utilize in the planning and execution of future events.

In this first event, the TNGL achieved innovation, engaging discussions of ideas, superb creative engagement, and widely diverse participation and audience. The TNGL officers are analyzing attendance data and presentation footage in order to best implement what they learned in moving forward. The TNGL looks forward to scaling up its event planning process in order to host a larger and more interscholastic TNGL Weekend next spring! The attendance data and presentation video are available online and for further review, upon request.