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URBAN GATEWAYS, IIT AND SONY HELP STUDENTS TURN IDEAS INTO PRODUCT MODELS; YOUNG INNOVATORS DISPLAY CREATIONS AT THE SONY GALLERY OF CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

 CHICAGO, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 30 local elementary school students today unveiled their personally designed electronic product models at the Sony Gallery of Consumer Electronics (663 N. Michigan Ave.).
 Among the innovations by these young artists are a pair of language translation glasses designed to convert written words to the primary language of the user, an electronic table-setting device and a lighted baton for nighttime parades. The imaginative pieces are a result of the second annual "My First Sony" design project and will be on display at the Sony Gallery from Aug. 17 through Sept. 30.
 Professional artists and designers from the Urban Gateways: The Center for Arts in Education and the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) guided the students from product concept to model production. Classes spanned four weeks during the summer and included brainstorm sessions, journal writing exercises, drawing, and building prototypes of electronic products.
 "These wonderful models are testimony to what can happen when a corporation like Sony works with educators to benefit children," said Sandra Furey, executive director of Urban Gateways. Founded in 1961 to provide cultural arts programs to Chicago-areas schools, Urban Gateways is now the largest arts-in-education provider in the United States.
 Eloy Leon, a 10-year-old student from the Peirce School, designed a robotic house cleaner to dispense with some of his household chores.
 "I'd like to have Eloy's Man of the House in my own home," said Janice Laws, an artist-in-residence for Urban Gateways and an instructor of this year's classes. "These products demonstrate the tremendous creativity of kids -- proving that pure ingenuity can lead to developments that can improve our lives."
 "By fostering design and innovation in young minds, we can help today's youth create a brighter tomorrow as they learn how to make meaningful contributions to their society," said Liz Powell, vice president of product development for Sony Signatures and former director of the Sony Design Center. "The My First Sony design project was created to let young students know about the opportunities they have to shape their worlds."
 Chicago's youngest innovators are all students at Peirce School (1423 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.) and Paul Revere School (1010 E. 72 St.), and range in age from 9 to 12 years old. The participating schools were chosen because of their ethnic diversity. Each school's principal selected students based on their financial, social and academic development needs.
 The summer's program included a field trip to the Institute of Design and the Sony Gallery of Consumer Electronics, and about 30 hours of instruction, including hands-on experience with the My First Sony Electronic Sketchpad which lets children draw color pictures on a TV screen.
 The unique program, initiated by the Sony Design Center in 1992, is a collaboration between Urban Gateways, the Institute of Design and Sony Electronics Inc.
 Sponsorship of the My First Sony Design project was made possible in part by a grant from Sony Electronics Inc., where the Design Center's focus is on product and packaging design for the American market.
 -0- 8/17/93
 /CONTACT: Jill Adams McDonough of Leo Burnett Co., 312-220-4185, for Sony Electronics, or Lisa Baldino of Sony Electronics, 201-930-7341/


CO: Sony Electronics Inc. ST: Illinois IN: CPR SU:

MP -- NY058 -- 3566 08/17/93 12:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 17, 1993
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