Digital Academy (logo)

Paisley YMCA is leading the development of Renfrewshire’s Digital Academy, building on our previous experience in delivering innovative digital youth services in the MakerSpace.

To begin with, during the period January to August 2021, with support from the Scottish Government’s Education Recovery Fund, the Renfrewshire Digital Academy will consist of:

Digital Arts – interactive display project

Young people across Renfrewshire will develop their own Projection mapping/ augmented reality touch display that allows young people to make their surroundings come alive.
Young people will learn:

  • video production, editing and sound engineering skills;
  • to create animations and learn to manipulate objects;
  • to use project mapping software and conductive paint;
  • to create context, information and create an immersive experience;
  • computer programming or coding;
  • to build, design and install interactive public displays; and
  • to use electronics in an art context.

Young people participating in the programme will develop the skills above to create a wall of interactive information that explores the mental health and wellbeing of young people living across Renfrewshire.

This part of the Digital Academy links to the Cultural Academy.

Design it! Make it! Sell it!

Young people will have access to Paisley YMCA’s digital fabrication studio based at our MakerSpace.

They will learn how to use 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, engraver machines and vinyl cutters. MakerSpace supports new digital artists and makers into small businesses or trade entrepreneurs using technology to aid the Design, Manufacturing and Selling process.
Young people will have free access to digital/tech fabrication equipment and workshops with hands on experience of digital/tech fabrication equipment.

The three-step process involves drawing ideas on paper, then transferring to a CAD programme to desired scale, depth and finished design, then 3D print prototype until satisfied with result, then embellish, cut and polish to an end product – then design branding, logos and digital marketing campaign around product, art installation or piece of jewellery etc. then sell to end customer at Paisley street market, website and shop.

Young people participating in the programme will learn:

  • improved digital literacy skills;
  • about empowerment in practice, as they are the designers and decision makers of the design and finish;
  • to use digital technology in intuitive ways that makes sense to them thus developing the knowledge to use technology as a problem-solving tool, resulting in an increase of self-confidence; and
  • to develop that sense of ownership and achievement that comes from developing an idea from inception to implementation.

This part of the Digital Academy links to the Community Empowerment Academy and the Cultural Academy

STEM in the Wild

STEM In the Wild is a blend of outdoor and innovative STEM focussed projects for young people. All the activities will bring together themes of kindness, wellbeing, curiosity, and peer-led learning.

Young people will work alongside each other, support one another, and gain a recognised qualification in the process – The Young STEM Leader Award Levels 4, 5, and 6 at SCQF level or an informal digital badge.

The project activity will include: Science – Making a Dirt Battery; Technology – Geocaching and digital scavenger hunt; Engineering – Den Building, Stick Bridge Challenges; Maths – Outdoor Coding challenges, Maze Challenges

Young people participating in the programme will learn:

  • to develop creative thinking and problem solving;
  • to engage in teamwork and working with others;
  • to explore their environment and the application of tech outdoors; and
  • about health and wellbeing.

This part of the Digital Academy links to the Outdoor Academy.

Digital Editors: Young Scot Platform

Young people will be able to use the Young Scot platform to produce a campaign and editorial to showcase what work is happening across Renfrewshire. They will form an editorial group that will link across the Digital Academy, Outdoor Academy, Arts and Renfrewshire Youth Voice.

Young people participating in the programme will:

  • undertake training on writing for the web, producing youth friendly content;
  • learn about copyright, appropriate usage of images and information;
  • gain an understanding of writing for a wider audience including different age ranges, those using different devices etc;
  • improve their communication skills by learning interview techniques;
  • increase their digital skills by learning to use a content management suite and accompanying tools such as graphics services to create eye catching and interesting content; and
  • investigate digital tools that facilitate writing and content production that can be shared with other young people.

This part of the Digital Academy links to the Community Empowerment Academy.

5 Digital Rights

A local campaign to raise awareness of the 5 Digital Rights that young people have will be planned. Young people will investigate what the rights are, what they mean to everyone and how best to reach as many young people in Renfrewshire to raise awareness of them.

This is particularly important given the increased use of digital and internet-based platforms young people are using during Covid-19 restrictions.

Materials produced by the 5 Rights Foundation and Young Scot will be used by young people to create a local awareness campaign that links to youth work agencies and schools.

Young people participating in the programme will gain:

  • a greater understanding of the 5 Digital Rights and reasons to safeguard other young peoples’ rights linked to the UNCRC
  • experience in a range of social media and digital tools to create campaign material; and
  • the experience of creating a communications plan around the campaign.

This part of the Digital Academy links to the Community Empowerment Academy.

Renfrewshire Youth Work Network (logo)