FedDev Grants to Children’s Content Producers
In 2011, Centennial College was awarded 10 grants, each worth $50,000, from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev)*. The grants are part of a coordinated strategy between the federal government and colleges to accelerate innovation and productivity in southern Ontario asking business partners to collaborate on “projects” and work hands-on with College faculty and students in developing new and innovative technologies, products and services. Business are asked to contribute $25,000 towards a project in cash or in-kind (i.e. student mentoring).
The $525,000 grant, has allowed 10 businesses to work with Centennial to develop new products and technologies and bring innovative ideas to market.
Children’s Content Providers
Three small and medium businesses in the children’s category were awarded grants:
Bitstrips is an online application that lets anybody make and share comics online without having to draw.
Centennial College sent animation, media and fine arts students to Toronto based Bitstrips for four months to create art assets for the popular web tool in a project funded by FedDev. Students were trained on the technical aspects of Bitstrips art production system, adapting their artistic style to the Bitstrips look and feel.
While Bitstrips comic-making tools have been used primarily in schools, the joint project with Centennial College creates a ground-breaking application for Facebook. Students were tasked with expanding the Bitstrips art library and comic templates and students applied their artistic skills building a library of props, furniture and objects…. everything from school buses and fridges to pineapples and houses.
The Bitstrips project allows this southern Ontario company to improve their product offering in schools while bringing this fun, social and innovative product to a whole new category of users.
Story Planet is an online story telling experience in which kids use their words and creativity to save planets across the universe. Professional authors and illustrators provide the creative backdrop for this unique gaming environment that allows kids to – almost unknowingly – build their own stories that can be compiled and shared with friends, family and peers from around the world.
Centennial students are currently helping the Story Planet team produce an interactive website for kids aged 6-9 that will enable three core activities:
- Story creation
- Story production including media production
- Community sharing and dialogue
Centennial students are working with the design team to illustrate and develop the characters and planets for the site as well as helping to develop the website interface.
Hungry Eyes Film & Television, Inc.
Centennial students have been busy partnering with Hungry Eyes Entertainment to create a Mobile Math App. The app is designed to teach the concept of number flexibility in a fun and engaging way and targets kids who are 9-12 years of age – grades six to eight – who need to improve their math literacy. Working with Hungry Eyes, Centennial engineering and design students are developing a fully functional iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) math education application with complete learning modules and expansion potential. Sold as a game, the skill testing content will have a rich learning component and offers tremendous savings and support to parents who currently opt for tutors to help with remedial math education.
The math app will dovetail with a 10-part documentary series about global math education. The Numbers Game doc series follows a diverse group of struggling North American kids who relearn math basics through the JUMP method, pioneered by Toronto’s Dr. John Mighton. The overall project is designed to spark a national conversation on Math pedagogy in Canada.
*Now in its second year of operation, FedDev has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.
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- “Applying” our student’s talent to your children’s production
- FedDev Grants to Children’s Content Producers
- Applied – Consulting on Kids’ Projects
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