London Brooks plays the “Hilltop Memory” game on the new touch-screen kiosk at the Thelma
By Andréa Stanford
Last week, members of UPMC’s Technology Development Center
(TDC) and Pittsburgh CONNECTS Hilltop Computer Center debuted a new
touch-screen computer kiosk at the Thelma
in the city’s Hill District. The kiosk, built mostly by the
Y’s youth last summer, features a variety of user-friendly, health-education programs
emphasizing the importance of nutrition and exercise.
The Pittsburgh CONNECTS Hilltop Computer Center received a
grant from Google to build the kiosk, which fosters STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Math) initiatives for youth within the community.
Led by Casey Helfrich, chief architect at the TDC, 24 UPMC
employees stepped up to volunteer hundreds of hours of time to develop and
install health-centered educational applications for the kiosk. Over the course
of a month, software engineers worked alongside pediatric nurses, child
educators and others from UPMC to develop or adapt interactive health and
wellness programs that could be used on the kiosk.
The final product came to life as campers from UPMC and
Thelma Lovette YMCA Health Career Summer Camp huddled around the kiosk to play
competitive games, including “Hilltop Memory," where children sharpened their
memory skills to match fitness-related images to garner top scores.
“The technology is really cool. When it comes to touchscreen
it’s pretty easy,” said camper Shatia Knight, an avid user of touchscreen
Nicolas Jaramillo, program director of the Pittsburgh
CONNECTS Hilltop Computer Center and leader of the organization’s technology
initiative, reflected on the progression of the program as he watched several
campers interact with the kiosk. “This really was an opportunity to build
something out of nothing. It was great to come together to create something
that represents the community and creates a pathway for further technological
growth,” he said.
Temika Green, program coordinator for the Thelma Lovette
YMCA, echoed the significance of the community partnership, reiterating that
the technology was created by the community and for the community.
wonderful opportunity for the children to learn from the health and wellness
resources that the kiosk has to offer and to be exposed to this technology,”
The kiosk will be available for use in the lobby of the
Thelma Lovette YMCA for the duration of the summer.
Labels: STEM, Technology Development Center, upmc