Detroit Techno 101 offers multiple ways to engage young people in documenting the unique cultural art forms created in urban communities around the world every day.  Detroit Techno 101 was created by Afro-American producers and filmmakers to help urban young people learn STEAM skills through music and film. Our goal is to teach students to tell their own stories using inexpensive tools, and how to create media (film, music, VR, social videos) and capitalize on it. Our curriculum exposes young people to STEAM skills like, computer programming, and transmedia techniques used in modern video, VR, and music production. This project is challenging students to create and geolocate video, and primary sources to create short films and projects on music history using short films like the film Electric Roots and the TechnoMecca Short Film Series and films like “God Said Give Em Drum Machines“, as models and members of each production team as mentors. Register for our self-guided Digital Storytelling course (Free or reduced cost for educators) to learn to create a short documentary film, promotional video or a PSA using inexpensive tools like your cell phone.

STEAM Education Designed for Urban Teens

The lessons in Detroit Techno 101 teach students about the history of Techno and its birthplace Detroit, while developing a variety of skills that are derived from filmmaking like collaboration, organization, and storytelling. Documentary films are made by creating an exploration of history via primary source documents.  We are teaching students how to create short films, and digital music, using smartphones and inexpensive video creation tools. We are mentoring students and showing them how smartphones and inexpensive tech can be used to document their own stories. Raised in underserved cities themselves, the developers of these programs have a passion and in-depth understanding of ways to make learning STEAM skills fun and compelling for urban youth.  Our team provides mentoring and educational experiences that challenge urban students not only to pursue higher education, and careers in the tech industry but to become “lifelong learners”. Our goal is to use film and music, the “A” in STEAM education, to provide educators with powerful and compelling project-based tools that empower, digitally savvy, urban youth to tell their own stories. Explore the lessons in Detroit Techno 101 or view the Detroit Techno Timeline to learn more about the history of Detroit Techno. Teachers can check out the “Lesson Plans” in the filters below and if you are just interested in learning more, explore any lesson or share the “Self-Guided Lesson” in the list below with students. Check back often, new lessons will be added regularly.

Teacher Resources and Professional Development Tools

The God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines film team offers opportunities to screen the film God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines at your school along with opportunities to speak to the filmmakers in Q & A discussions. Professional development resources like a Teacher Guide or Student Guide are available for our Digital Storytelling course upon request.