Toyz Electronics works on hardware such as but not limited to Android based smartwatches, gaming phones, smartglassses, TV boxes, and personal portable servers. I’ve been using the hardware that my hardware startup works on with a group called the Betterville Mavens. The Betterville Mavens are a group in Beltsville MD whose goal is to prepare the youth to navigate the Social Economic challenges present in our communities utilizing Mandarin, Digital & Economic Literacy. The children range from age 5 to 13.
I’ve been in constant contact with the Mavens meeting with them using the hardware from our startup to help teach them things from how one gets from a design of a product to prototype, as well as some basic programming in Python and have them interact with wearable tech. On April 2nd 2016 we brought the Betterville Mavens, to Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) for their Playtest Day along with Students from University of Toledo’s NSBE chapter.
At the Playtest Day the Mavens where able to interact with both Faculty and Students in the ETC playtesting their games and being exposed to the work they have been doing for the whole semester. The games ranged from ideas with Virtual Reality to teaching the mavens about Solar Energy. Both parents and students were engaged in both the games students made and also what the ETC had to offer such as interacting with their intelligent robot Quasi. At the event the Betterville Mavens also got to interact with the students from University of Toledo NSBE Chapter (whom we also brought) as mentor figures and were able to work on their Mandarin Chinese by speaking to some of the ETC students in Mandarin.
I attached photos and some videos of the event below
Meet the Betterville Mavens, a group to prepare the youth to navigate the Social Economic challenges present in our communities utilizing Mandarin, Digital & Economic Literacy. These kids range from age 4 to 13.
These photos are from July 2014, when I came by their class in between their Mandarin Chinese lecture and Geography lecture to teach them about STEM and how products are made. The technology you see there are products of Toyz Electronics, ranging from Tablets with 3G capabilities, to Smart watches with 3G capabilities, to Android gaming phones, to Android TV sticks to bluetooth glasses with FM radio. I talked to them about how one gets from design to product and talked about our gaming league called Toyz Nation Gaming League, a league made to bridge the digital divide getting these students here, to be able to create and develop apps with people at Silicon Valley, Carnegie Mellon, and students nationwide. Young Tim in this picture in the blue, is 10 years old, and speaks fluent Mandarin.
He already was a part of the Center for Talented Youth program at John Hopkins and his game Ting, which teaches kids about the Chinese language and culture. After I talked we allowed the kids to play with the devices and ask questions, and to my pleasant surprise not only did the kids want to learn more about how to build the products, these kids were so excited to play with the devices we had it was a struggle to take them away from it.