Category: Press Releases

Youth Digital Honored as Gold Stevie® Award Winner in 2016 American Business Awards

Youth Digital, the leading technology education organization for kids ages 8 to 14, was named the winner of a Gold Stevie® Award in the New Product or Service of the Year – Education – Game-based Curriculum Solution category for its Server Design 1 course in the 14th Annual American Business Awards.

Server Design 1 is an interactive online course that teaches kids Java programming as they design and develop their own Minecraft world. Through engaging videos, challenging assignments, interactive quizzes and access to a professional Java development tool, kids are able to create their own customized Minecraft server from scratch.

More than 3,400 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Startup of the Year, Executive of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year, Live Event of the Year, and App of the Year, among others.

“Server Design 1 is one of our most popular courses and we’re thrilled to receive the Gold Stevie Award in recognition of its success to help turn kids into creators, not just consumers, of technology,” said Justin Richards, CEO of Youth Digital. “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!”

More than 250 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners.

“The judges were extremely impressed with the quality of entries we received this year. The competition was intense and every organization that has won should be proud,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.

Details about The American Business Awards and the list of 2016 Stevie winners are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.

About Youth Digital
Youth Digital offers a compelling mix of online courses that teach kids the critical technology concepts and skills that they will need to be successful in today’s digital world. With courses designed to be fun, interactive, and rewarding, kids ages 8 to 14 become digital creators through their breakthrough learning platform and cutting-edge curriculum. Students watch video tutorials, respond to questions, earn badges, complete interactive quizzes, and attempt challenging assignments as they step toward mastering key technology skills and professional-level software.

Founded in 2010 and based in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, Youth Digital is committed to making technology education accessible to kids globally. Since its inception, the company has reached more than 60,000 students through its popular summer camp programs and expanding portfolio of introductory and advanced online courses. Today, students from more than 100 countries are enrolled in Youth Digital’s online courses in Java programming, game development, mobile app design, 3D printing, 3D animation, and more.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

Youth Digital Releases Mod Design Expansion Pack to Help Kids Learn to Code with Minecraft

Company Expands Most Popular Course by Four Additional Modules for Java Coding Education

Chapel Hill, NC – Youth Digital, the leading technology education organization for kids ages 8 to 14, today announced the official release of Mod Design 1: Dimensions, an expansion pack for its most popular course Mod Design 1, which teaches kids professional-level Java programming skills. The expansion pack offers students four additional modules that allow kids to deepen their knowledge of coding with Java through creating Minecraft dimensions.

“Mod Design 1: Dimensions expansion pack is the number one request we’ve heard from students and parents,” said Justin Richards, CEO of Youth Digital. “This highly anticipated course builds off of skills learned in Mod Design 1 and gives kids the opportunity to extend their knowledge of Java programming through a customized Minecraft dimension. It’s a great way to deepen students’ coding knowledge while creating a really exciting final project they can share with friends.”

Mod Design 1 lays the foundation by teaching kids professional Java programming as they learn to code with Minecraft. Throughout the modules, students watch engaging videos and create their own unique Minecraft mods.

Mod Design 1: Dimensions teaches advanced coding skills and concepts, while allowing kids to complete challenging assignments, concluding with a cutting-edge final project that tasks students with creating a customized Minecraft dimension that they can actually play and share with friends. Course highlights include:

  • Advanced Java Programming: Students will take their knowledge of Java even further as they write code from scratch.
  • Complex Coding Concepts: Kids learn how to program more complex features for their mods, like custom portals, automatically-generating structures, and advanced artificial intelligence.
  • Professional Software: Kids improve their proficiency with a professional-level Java development tool, Eclipse.

“I’m so excited about Mod Design 1: Dimensions because Mod Design 1 was my favorite Youth Digital course,” said Youth Digital student Ronan Boyarski. “I already loved making my own Minecraft mods in Mod Design 1, but the expansion pack has taught me so much more about Java programming and how to create almost everything I have ever wanted to mod!”

Included in Mod Design 1: Dimensions:

  •     10 Hours of Instruction
  •     1 Year Expansion Pack Access
  •     Support from Youth Digital’s Online Teachers
  •     Self-Paced and Project-Based Curriculum
  •     Interactive Quizzes & Challenges
  •     Final Project with Instructor Assessment

To learn more about Youth Digital and its offerings for kids to learn to code with Minecraft, please visit http://www.youthdigital.com.

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About Youth Digital
Youth Digital offers a compelling mix of online courses that teach kids the critical technology concepts and skills that they will need to be successful in today’s digital world. With courses designed to be fun, interactive, and rewarding, kids ages 8 to 14 become digital creators through their breakthrough learning platform and cutting-edge curriculum. Students watch video tutorials, respond to questions, earn badges, complete interactive quizzes, and attempt challenging assignments as they step toward mastering key technology skills and professional-level software.

Founded in 2010 and based in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, Youth Digital is committed to making technology education accessible to kids globally. Since its inception, the company has reached more than 60,000 students through its popular summer camp programs and expanding portfolio of introductory and advanced online courses. Today, students from more than 100 countries are enrolled in Youth Digital’s online courses in Java programming, game development, mobile app design, 3D printing, 3D animation, and more.

Youth Digital Announces New Online Course for Kids to Create Animated Movies

Chapel Hill, NC – December 9, 2015 –Youth Digital, the leading technology education organization for youth ages 8-14, today announced the launch of 3D Character Animation 1, a stimulating online course that teaches kids how to create animated movies using his or her favorite Minecraft characters.

Today, technology skills are becoming as, if not more, important than the traditional three R’s of education. In fact, a majority of parents have purchased technology education for their kids, according to Youth Digital’s recent study, and government officials have become advocates for STEAM-related education in order to produce the next generation of creators – further emphasizing the need for educational courses like Youth Digital’s 3D Character Animation 1.

Focusing on facial expressions and biped animation, this engaging course will teach kids the necessary 3D animation skills and how to apply these concepts to bring their Minecraft story to life. Through this professional, customized animation tool, young students will have total control over every aspect of the Minecraft animation, including storyline, characters, and cinematography.

Course highlights include the following:

  • Key 3D Animation Concepts – kids will learn essential 3D animation concepts including keyframe animation, rendering and compositing, camera composition, and more.
  • Character Animation – from walk cycle development to facial expressions, kids will learn the basics of character anima¬tion.
  • Professional Software – kids will learn to use professional 3D animation software, Blender.

“3D Character Animation 1 is a unique way for kids to learn fundamental animation skills through a comprehensive learning experience that is remarkably fun, highly interactive, and rewarding,” said Justin Richards, CEO of Youth Digital. “In this course, kids will master skills that they can use to create their own animations – giving kids a productive outlet for their love of Minecraft while simultaneously teaching them the importance of attention to detail, patience and concentration, and solid computer skills.”

With digital animated movies becoming the second most popular type of movie in 2015, 3D Character Animation 1 also lays the foundation for a future career in animation.

“It’s never too early to learn 3D animation skills,” added Richards, “and Youth Digital is actively challenging kids to not just play, but create.”

The 12-month subscription ($249.99) includes: 30 hours of instruction, 1 year course access, support from online teachers, self-paced and project-based curriculum, interactive quizzes and challenges, final project, and instructor assessment.

To learn more about Youth Digital and its unique approach to technology education, please visit http://www.youthdigital.com.

About Youth Digital
Youth Digital offers a compelling mix of online courses that teach kids the critical technology concepts and skills that they will need to be successful in today’s digital world. With courses designed to be fun, interactive, and rewarding, kids ages 8 to 14 become digital creators through their breakthrough learning platform and cutting-edge curriculum. Students watch video tutorials, respond to questions, earn badges, complete interactive quizzes, and attempt challenging assignments as they step toward mastering key technology skills and professional-level software.

Founded in 2010 and based in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, Youth Digital is committed to making technology education accessible to kids globally. Since its inception, the company has reached more than 60,000 students through its popular summer camp programs and expanding portfolio of introductory and advanced online courses. Today, students from more than 100 countries are enrolled in Youth Digital’s online courses in Java programming, game development, mobile app design, 3D printing, 3D animation, and more.

Tech Education Products by Youth Digital Available at Select Target and Best Buy Locations Starting Nov. 15

Chapel Hill, NC — November 11, 2015 — Youth Digital today announced that its technology education products, designed for youth ages 8 to 14, will be launching in stores and on shelves in more than 1,000 brick-and-mortar locations of Target and Best Buy beginning November 15th. The company is also expanding its online retail presence with availability on the Target, Best Buy, and GameStop websites.

Continue reading “Tech Education Products by Youth Digital Available at Select Target and Best Buy Locations Starting Nov. 15”

Youth Digital Appoints Lance Phillips VP of Customer Loyalty

Chapel Hill, NC — September 3, 2015 — Youth Digital, a leader in technology education for youth 8-14, has appointed Lance Phillips to the newly created position of VP of Customer Loyalty. Phillips will be responsible for growing and scaling the Youth Digital support team in alignment with the company’s explosive growth, expanding the service offering for students, and creating meaningful and new ways to connect with kids and parents.
Continue reading “Youth Digital Appoints Lance Phillips VP of Customer Loyalty”

Exciting New Course Teaches Kids 8-14 to Code Their Own Minecraft® Server

Chapel Hill, NC — June 23, 2015 — Today, Youth Digital, the leading technology education organization for youth ages 8-14, announced the launch of Server Design 1, an exciting online course that teaches kids how to program and customize their own Minecraft® server. This engaging course extends the creativity of Minecraft® into coding.

Coding in Java from scratch, students will be able to make their server exactly the way they want. Kids will intrinsically learn programming concepts by adding new features to their servers. They’ll be able to invite their friends to join the Minecraft® world where they control the rules — and all of this will be done in Java.

“Server Design 1 is a unique approach to teaching fundamental coding skills in an engaging and interactive method by enabling kids to create their very own Minecraft® server,” said Justin Richards, Youth Digital’s CEO. “Kids can take their passion for Minecraft® and transform it into something amazing with a unique experience that they can share and enjoy with their friends. We are challenging kids to not just play, but to create.”

“Creating their own Minecraft® server mod is a pretty phenomenal achievement for a kid – or for most adults,” he added.

The fact that the course makes the server completely safe and secure from those who are not family and friends is a major point of attraction for parents.

Through Youth Digital’s Server Design 1, students learn basic programming concepts including methods and parameters, if-then and if-else statements, logical operators, variables types (strings, booleans, and integers), instantiation of new objects, array lists and random indexes.

The course involves a series of engaging activities, including watching videos, responding to questions, earning badges, and completing quizzes and challenging assignments. There are more than 30 hours of interactive lessons per course along with ongoing instructional support and technical support.

Cost for the 12-month Server Design 1 subscription: $249.99.

“I like that Server Design 1 teaches my son Java, a real programming language, in a way that is fun and interactive. It allows him to create his own world and share it with his friends,” said Kim Boyarski, a parent of a current student. “He has been very excited to show off his work thus far and what he’s been able to create. I’ve been impressed with what he could accomplish after a few short lessons.”

Youth Digital’s vision is to make advanced technology education available to every child. The company offers highly innovative courses that teach kids to code, develop apps, design 3D modeling, animate, and more.

The company’s sophisticated approach distinguishes it from typical computer science programs for kids. Through one-of-a-kind online classes, summer camps, and enterprise partnerships, Youth Digital revolutionizes technology education for boys and girls 8-14—enabling them to develop critical computer, programming and technology skills that rival college students and even professionals. Youth Digital doesn’t just show kids how to use technology, it teaches them to create.

About Youth Digital  
Youth Digital empowers youth to become digital creators, designers, animators, programmers and developers. Their mission is focused on “Creating Creators” through a breakthrough-learning platform that provides youth — between the ages of 8 and 14 — a comprehensive learning experience that is fun, interactive and rewarding. Students watch video tutorials, respond to questions, earn badges, complete interactive quizzes, and attempt challenging assignments as they step toward mastering critical technology skills and professional-level software.

Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Youth Digital was founded in 2010. Since then it has educated and encouraged more than 50,000 students through in-person classes, after-school programs, summer school programs and an expanding portfolio of introductory and advanced online courses. Today, students from around the world are enrolled in Youth Digital’s online classes in game development, mobile app design, Java programming, 3D printing & modeling, 3D animation, and more.

Contact: 
Sally Lowery
311 Providence Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
sally@youthdigital.com
919-699-2918

Youth Digital Opens New Studio to Reach More Students

Chapel Hill, NC — August 22, 2014 — One of the leading education technology companies is moving into the neighborhood.  Youth Digital, which was founded in Durham in 2010, has officially moved into their new studio on Providence Road in Chapel Hill.  The move to the larger studio — which boasts six instructional classrooms, an open-concept workspace, nearly-floor-to-ceiling acrylic portraits and action shots of game characters, a full film studio and cutting edge 3D printers — will give the company the chance to reach more students in a safe, fun, kid-approved environment.  “The kids who take courses at Youth Digital are the next generation of creators,” said Justin Richards, the company’s Founder and CEO.  “It’s so exciting that we’re going to be able to offer them a classroom experience that matches the incredible things they’re accomplishing in our online courses.”

Youth Digital’s breakthrough learning platform provides kids — between the ages of 8 and 14 — a comprehensive learning experience that is amazingly fun, highly interactive and extremely effective. Students watch videos, respond to questions, earn badges, complete quizzes, and attempt challenging assignments as they step toward mastering critical technology skills and professional-level software.

While the company’s growth over the past two years has come primarily from their online courses, the real magic still happens at the studio.  All of the courses at Youth Digital — which have reached 15,000 kids in all 50 US states and 70 countries — are developed and refined at the studio.  Youth Digital’s mission — and passion — is to transition kids from being passive consumers of technology into tomorrow’s technology creators and innovators, and now it gets to happen right here in Chapel Hill.

Join the Youth Digital team, students, families, and friends for food, drink, and celebration on September 5th at 7pm for the new Youth Digital Studio Grand Opening Party at 311 Providence Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

Contact: 
Ryan Perlowin
311 Providence Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
ryan@youthdigital.com
516.330.9844

Youth Digital Partners with Shapeways

Durham, NC— June 19, 2014— Youth Digital announced today the release of their online 3D Printing & Modeling 1 course for kids, ages 8-14. Students will learn Blender — a professional-level, open-source 3D modeling and animation suite — to sculpt, texture, arrange and render their own 3D creation, in preparation for actual 3D printing.

The course leverages Youth Digital’s breakthrough interactive learning platform, which includes the software tools, interactive videos, challenging activities, exciting assignments, and live technical and instructional support. Best of all, at the end of the course, students can order 3D prints of their own unique creations from Shapeways — the world’s leading 3D printing marketplace and community — at discounted pricing for educational partners.

“Youth Digital’s 3D Printing & Modeling 1 course is ground-breaking, because it introduces the high-tech world of 3D printing to kids,” said Justin Richards, Youth Digital’s Founder and Director. “This course enables kids to learn cutting-edge technology skills and professional-level software tools. It makes the world of 3D printing accessible, around the globe — even to those that have never seen a 3D printer in action. At the end of the course, students can order prints of their very own 3D creations directly from Shapeways.”

“Kids will love it. But what is really important is that we’re making the world of 3D printing — what once felt like the stuff of science-fiction — accessible to younger learners,” continued Justin Richards. “These are critical technology and engineering skills. The implications for America’s competitive edge in technology, STEM education initiatives, design, coding and engineering are significant.”

To celebrate, the Youth Digital 3D Printing & Modeling 1 course is available at a 30% discount — until July 31, 2014 — by using Offer Code “Shape30” when purchasing the course at www.YouthDigital.com. The regular price of the course is just $249, which also includes the downloaded software and support for 12 months.

About Youth Digital
Youth Digital empowers children to be digital creators, designers, animators, programmers and developers. Our breakthrough learning platform provides kids — between the ages of 8 and 14 — a comprehensive learning experience that is amazingly fun, interactive and rewarding. Students watch videos, respond to questions, earn badges, complete quizzes, and attempt challenging assignments as they step toward mastering critical technology skills and professional-level software.

Based in Durham, North Carolina, Youth Digital was founded in 2010 by Justin Richards at the age of 22. Since then it has educated and encouraged more than 15,000 kids through in-person classes, after-school programs, summer school programs and an expanding portfolio of introductory and advanced online courses. Today, students from around the world are enrolled in Youth Digital’s online classes in game development, mobile app design, Java programming for Minecraft©, 3D printing & modeling, 3D animation, and more.

Youth Digital is an Official Education Partner of Shapeways. To learn more about becoming an Official Education Partner of Shapeways, please contact education@shapeways.com. Youth Digital’s mission to help children “Create Awesome!”

About Shapeways
Shapeways is the leading 3D printing marketplace and community, empowering designers to bring amazing products to life. By giving anyone the ability to quickly and affordably turn ideas from digital designs into real products, Shapeways is fundamentally changing how products are made and by whom. Headquartered in Manhattan, Shapeways also has factories and offices in Eindhoven, Long Island City and Seattle.

Youth Digital Students Win National STEM Challenge With Steampunk Platformer Etiquette Anarchy

October 1, 2013 — Durham, NC— Kevin Kopczynski and Henry Lewis Edwards, two of Youth Digital’s App Design students, designed and developed mobile game Etiquette Anarchy to the win the STEM National Game Design Challenge.

Etiquette Anarchy is a platform­-style game set in Victorian England. Players take on the role of a young gentleman, called Jacob, on his way to a society event. Jacob must hurry to get to the party on time, while avoiding all the dirt in the filthy London streets. Jacob creatively uses his umbrella to avoid dirty rainwater, float over mud puddles, and even avoid rats on the streets, because turning up late or arriving dirty just wouldn’t be proper Victorian etiquette!

The students worked on the app as part of a projects for Youth Digital’s classes in App Design, under the guidance of Youth Digital’s Justin Richards, and then continued the project in order to enter the STEM challenge. Etiquette Anarchy won the middle school team category in the National STEM Video Game Challenge.

“We’ve very proud of what our students have accomplished,” says Youth Digital’s founder and CEO, Justin Richards. “Henry and Kevin combined their App Design knowledge with a unique and well­researched game narrative to create an original game. A Victorian retro platformer, created by middle schoolers, really shows the wide creative potential for game development.”

The students needed to research Victorian history and culture, as well as design and develop their unique game.

Youth Digital was founded in 2010, and has since educated and encouraged over two thousand aspiring game designers through app and game design classes for students eight and up. Etiquette Anarchy is available on the App Store now, with an Android version in the works.

About Youth Digital
Youth Digital was founded in 2010 by Justin Richards, to educate and encourage the next generation of tech innovators through app and game design classes for students eight and up. Youth Digital offers online classes at Youth Digital.com. Today, students from around the world are enrolled in Youth Digital’s online classes in game development and app design.

Justin Richards: Training the Next Generation of Game Development Leadership

September 24, 2013 — Durham, NC — Justin Richards, Youth Digital’s founder and CEO, will be speaking on game development and leadership at next month’s Southern Interactive Entertainment and Game Expo (SIEGE) conference.

SIEGE is hosted by the Georgia Game Developers Association, and will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 3 ­ 6, 2013. Justin’s talk on “Training the Next Generation of Game Development Leadership” will be a part of the International Game Developer Association (IGDA) Leadership track at the conferences.

Justin Richards is the founder and CEO of Youth Digital, where he works to introduce aspiring designers and developers, to the skills and processes they’ll need to create their own games and apps. Youth Digital students, aged eight through sixteen, learn app and game development, as they take their projects from idea to completion.

“The IGDA Leadership track at SIEGE is a great opportunity to share what we’ve learned about teaching the next generation of digital innovators,” says Justin Richards. “Instead of letting aspiring developers scour forums and watch vague tutorials, we’ve found a way to channel students’ love of games and natural curiosity in order to teach game development. Now we have eight ­year­ olds with games on the App Store.”

When students learn development tools and processes from professionals, and are encouraged to tinker and explore, they’re able to create innovative games and apps. Richards remembers struggling to follow his interests in tech and game development as he was growing up. He found very few resources available, especially ones that would be accessible to children, although he knew that learning game development could be an exciting process. This experience stuck with him, and Richards opened Youth Digital as a way for children and teenagers to channel their creativity into technological skills and innovative games.

Youth Digital is based in Durham, North Carolina, and provides classes both onsite and online at YouthDigital.com. Interested students ages eight and up can learn to create their own apps, design their own games, and learn valuable tech skills from anywhere in the world through the online lessons. Over two thousand aspiring developers have already enrolled in Youth Digital’s classes.

About Youth Digital
Youth Digital was founded in 2010 by Justin Richards, to educate and encourage the next generation of tech innovators through app and game design classes for students eight and up. Youth Digital is based in Durham, North Carolina, and online at Youth Digital.com. Today, students from around the world are enrolled in Youth Digital’s online classes in game development and app design.