Issue #22 August 2006

The kids are alright

Red Hat High t-shirt

During the week of July 9-15, 2006, Red Hat and North Carolina State University partnered to host the inaugural year of Red Hat High, a week-long overnight technology camp for rising eighth and ninth-graders.

Fifty-two students came from seven North Carolina counties to learn more about creativity, collaboration, and open source technology. Students chose to focus on one of four tracks: audio engineering, video creation and editing, 3D modeling and animation, and web design. They spent the week planning and creating their final project in their chosen track.

The students were nominated by their teachers, recognized as creative students who demonstrated an interest in technology. Red Hat and N.C. State's shared goal was to introduce Red Hat High students to new applications for technology and to hopefully inspire long-term interest. Also, since minorities and women are traditionally underrepresented in technology fields, recruitment focused on these two groups. Three-out-of-four students at Red Hat High were African-American and nearly half of the students were female.

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The software used in class was free and open source, making it easier for students to continue working on their projects at home after the camp ended. This reinforced the goal of the camp--to provide students with the opportunity to learn and the tools to further their knowledge on their own, to introduce a new generation to the principles of open source, and to introduce a world of technology and collaboration to teenagers who may not have otherwise considered it.

We were astonished at how much 52 middle-schoolers accomplished in one week. Hearing them present their projects to their parents and teachers on the last day of camp inspired us. The results are compelling. We want to make it possible for Red Hat High to continue in other cities, states, and countries. Want to help? Contact or visit if you'd like to volunteer or want your area to host a camp.

Red Hat High podcast

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Red Hat High slide show