• Local tech company holds 'YouTube camp,' teaching students STEM

    By: Litsa Pappas

    Updated:

    NEWTON, Mass. - YouTube is not just the go-to site for video watching, but it can make you rich. According to Forbes, the top YouTube earner in 2018 was a 7-year-old boy who made $22 million by reviewing toys for other kids.

    There are also local camps that teach kids the skills they need to create online videos.

    "Me and my brother do some videos, gaming videos, and I watch YouTube, too, sometimes for fun," said David Zellino.

    Most kids in 2019 are familiar with YouTube, and some dream of having their own channel that goes viral.

    "Maybe one day, yeah, make some money," Zellino said.

    That's why tech camps like Empow Studios, founded by Leonid Tunik, are starting to teach classes on YouTube and the magic behind those popular videos watched online.

    "This plays very well in our programs because the kids are so engaged in YouTube and with gaming," said Tunik. "They do want to know how to make this stuff and they stay engaged." 

    The program teaches kids to not only watch videos on YouTube, but to also learn how to create their own using skills that can apply to many jobs in the future.

    And it's not just about going viral.

    "Many of the kids are trying to create something, and so this is one of the things we try to teach them: how do you actually storyboard a video?" Tunik said. "There's a storytelling aspect of it – to creating a video – that somebody might want to watch."

    The 'YouTube camp' is just one program at Empow Studios. Kids can also learn all about robotics, coding, virtual reality and how to create their own video games.

    "I always believe in myself," Zellino said. "I can do these videos and I can teach kids that do this program how to code everything."

    "They can pick up these skills and start practicing at home, and they could become a sensation," said the founder of Empow Studios.

    But even if these students don’t make it 'big,' the skills they learn can translate to any career in this digital world.

    Empow Studios are based in Newton and Lexington, and have several pop-up camps for kids this summer throughout Massachusetts.

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