Urban TxT’s LA Hacker Space

April 1st, 2013

Urban TxT is an L.A.-based group that introduces Los Angeles high school students to web and software development, and to the process of coming up with an idea for a product, designing it and building it. The group is doing fantastic work, and I’ve been lucky enough to help start a short iOS development course for their students. It’s a wonderful group.

The group and their students have a big idea for how to make L.A. a great place for youth (and people of all ages) to learn how to build things and to work on their own projects: they want to create a “hacker space” that’s open at all times for people to work and learn from others:

Imagine what life could be like if a teen in South Los Angeles could see more computers than liquor stores while walking home from school. Imagine if South LA did not have the highest unemployment rate in the city but instead produced the highest number of tech pioneers in the country. URBAN Teens eXploring Technology (URBAN TxT), a local nonprofit with a city-wide focus, seeks to accomplish that by building a technology innovation center in one of the most underinvested areas in the city. URBAN TxT will build a “hacker space” – a space with technology equipment and an open-door policy for everyone who wants to express creativity, address social issues through computer programing, and innovate through collaboration.

They’re competing for a grant from the Goldhirsh Foundation to make this a reality. I think it’s not only a wonderful idea, one that would benefit a lot of people, but the kind of idea that can improve how our staid and ineffective education system works—and make it more engaging and more transformative for students.

Watch the video they’ve made about their vision, and if you think it’s a good idea too, you can help them out by leaving a comment showing your support (or, even better, with your own ideas for the project). They’re doing fantastic work, and I think they deserve all of our support. Let’s help make this happen.