Practical Learning at Small Factory Prepares Kids for Real World

Practical Learning at Small Factory Prepares Kids for Real World

Kids at Small Factory are learning practical skills that will help them prepare for the real world. Andon M., Matthew S., and Hannah B. developed a website for Umberto’s Pizzeria in Fair Haven, NJ and put their Small Factory learning to use.

The pizza restaurant knew they needed a new website, so they decided to give the 12 year olds in the Small Factory Web Programming class the opportunity to test their coding and design skills.

“Our website was five years old and we are making some updates and changes to the restaurant so we knew we needed a fresh site,” said Mary Fabbri, owner of Umberto’s Pizzeria.

Eric Whitehead, a teacher at Small Factory, wanted to give his students a chance at a more practical application for their HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other website design skills. web_prog2

“I wanted to have more of a practical application so they felt they really built something significant,” said Eric.

Eric is a self-taught web designer who built his first site in 1998. He has a degree in teaching, but after he graduated he wanted to pursue a career in IT/web development. Teaching at Small Factory lets him blend the two things he enjoys the most.

“I can really relate to these kids because they have the same interest I had almost 20 years,” said Eric.

Eric developed most of the bare bones template for Umberto’s new site. The students then added their own ideas and code on top of that. All graphics were created in the class by the students. Special features like the photos section, the Yelp, Facebook and Google Maps API integration were all done by the students.

“It’s amazing what these kids can do,” said Mary. “They came up with so many creative ideas that we hadn’t even thought of!”

Students used Sublime Text as their code editor and Firefox and Firebug to work through issues. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator were used for all graphics, and images were provided by Umberto’s. All photo editing was done by the students.

Umberto’s has been in business since 1984 and is run by the Fabbri family. The new website isn’t live yet, but once their current domain is transferred it will be ready for business, and Andon, Matthew and Hannah will have their first addition to their resumes.

After all, “the best way to learn is by doing,” said Eric.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Mary. “They have such a fresh eye and they are so creative.”

Small Factory Web Programming students are available for website design for local businesses. If your business is interested, contact Small Factory at 732-212-1088.

Parents, interested in giving your children the practical skills needed to solve everyday problems? Sign them up for the many Small Factory classes that help teach life skills, including Web Programming, Video Game Design, Robotics and Engineering, Film and Video and Theater. Find out more here.