Microsoft, VCGA launch tech education lab in Vancouver’s Chinatown

Chinatown

Microsoft has teamed up with the Vancouver Computer Graphic Society (VCGA) to host tech programming, workshops, and mentor-led labs this summer in the Vancouver-based Chinatown House.

“We are excited to cultivate this digital community through a diverse team of professional mentors.

The programming, for what is being called the Community Digital Lab, will run through July and August and is available for free to participants of all ages. The organizers said the lab will offer a tactical approach for participants to work on various exploratory projects that span across STEM. The goal of the lab is to provide attendees with a foundational grasp of technology.

“Technology is such a huge part of our society today, and it is up to organizations such as ourselves to offer programming to those who are interested but may not otherwise have the means to access it,” Minna Van, executive director of Chinatown House, said in a statement. “I hope the courses, workshops, and lab time really invigorate the community to go after their own interest in tech.”

During the program, attendees will be able to use tools to develop work through a variety of mediums, including art, music, virtual reality, multimedia, and animation, with informal training offered in each area.

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For youth and adults, the lab will host a six-part workshop program to help participants career-prep by establishing a foundation of tech skills through Microsoft Office tools. There will also be three programs focusing on coding, STEM, and virtual reality for kids. Along with Microsoft and the VCGA, the lab also received support from the Ca Phe Vietnamese Coffee House.

During lab hours, individuals will be able to work alongside mentors in a variety of different topics in technology, including film, VR, AR gaming, and film. Chinatown House is currently prioritizing organizations such as Exchange Inner City, and groups in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for workshop registration.

“We are excited to cultivate this digital community through a culturally diverse team of professional mentors from industry to help bring new project ideas to Community Digital Lab,” Nick Romick, president of the VCGA, said in a statement. “We see the importance of tapping into the [visual effects] powerhouse we have in Vancouver. For kids and youths who may have never talked to a professional who has made the movies or games they have seen or play, this opportunity may be a pivotal experience.”

Details on individual workshops can be found here.

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast