The program uses wireless mesh technology to spread a free wireless network. Routers placed in waterproof cases can project an Internet signal for a 200-yard radius. The routers are positioned to communicate with each other and provide a constant Internet signal for the residents within the range of the entire mesh network.
The Lab for Technological Literacy within RIT’s Center for Advancing the Study of Cyberinfrastructure is supporting the pilot program. “Art for Everyone,” an organization comprised of local artists, teachers and IT professionals dedicated to bringing inspiring, cutting-edge educational programs to Rochester City School students, developed the comprehensive, multidisciplinary curriculum for the pilot program. Three RIT alumni—Robyn Neill, Eric Grace, and Keith Simmons—two of whom are currently teachers in the Rochester City School District and all members of “Art for Everyone”—are teaching the curriculum that involves math, science, art, technology and physical education.“It is our honor and privilege to contribute to innovation in our community by using art and technology to empower our youth and enhance the lives of Rochester residents,” says Robyn Neill, member of “Art for Everyone” and a Rochester City School District teacher.
“Professor Jon Schull and I have met with various corporations and organizations around the city for several years in an effort to facilitate activities downtown to launch a municipal wireless area network,” says Stephen Jacobs, director of the Lab for Technological Literacy at RIT. “Our efforts inspired ‘Art for Everyone’ to ask us for mentoring and support in creation of the Digital Ripple. This is just the first version of the program. The lab will have an ongoing role in partnering with ‘Art for Everyone’ to grow and replicate this program at a local, regional and national level.”