UPDATED 14:34 EDT / FEBRUARY 17 2011

Young Nerds Are Our Future: 21st Century Youth Project

With over 20.2 million kids under 11 years old going online once a month, there are enormous learning opportunities that might fuel the little ones’ passion for technology. This perspective has paved the way for the establishment of the 21st Century Youth Project in Chicago.

Governed by the idea of perfect place, perfect timing, with the proper training—words from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outlier that inspired the project’s founder, Emile Cambry Jr., the 21st Century Youth Project is an initiative primarily dedicated for children’s learning.  And it’s absolutely free of charge. The goal of this educational program is for children to learn how to create applications that can be sold to their local communities, schools, small businesses or mobile platform owners. Ideas revolve around five key areas: mobile app development, SAT training, business planning, mentorship and open-source educational curriculum. Aside from the knowledge these kids will harness, a portion of the profits goes into a general scholarship fund for their college education.

While children get more involved and hooked into the tech world, enterprises have found ways to the hearts of these playful and curious ones. This summer, LeapFrog is expected to launch LeapPad Explorer—a tablet that will surely be the apple of any kid’s eye. The gadget includes apps for drawing, math and general play games. Talking about apps, Aqility Inc. has just introduced a new iPhone app to the market that targets who else, but children. The app goes with a long name, “Kids Career Match: Who Do You Call?” This iPhone app exclusively crafted for kids to engage in a fun and interactive learning that promotes exploration of their wants, skills and talents that will eventually enable them to answer the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

With digital classrooms budding from everywhere, it won’t be long before Mark Zuckerberg’s dethroned as the youngest billionaire.  This era’s returning interest in math and science education isn’t lost on today’s tech sector, and preparing our youth for the future must include proper teaching methods around mobile web apps.

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