Experimental Civics


How People Are Changing the World $5K at a Time

I didn’t know what to expect when I read this session title at MozFest … how could 5K be making an impact. I was dumbfounded and instantly curious…

…was it enough funding? What types of projects were these? Where were these changemakers from? Who were these people? #CantEvenRightNow

Before I reveal who they were (it’s not that secretive, you can scroll down), I want to share my one takeaway before you get lost in their projects and amazingness.

Major takeaway: To any and all aspiring civic hackers/inventors/social entrepreneurs/idea people, there are always spaces to try and experiment with your ideas. Someone will listen and hear you!

The beauty of all these projects is that they were all small scale ideas put into action. And Mozilla listened to the cry of these awardees wanting to elevate their work and passions. I know that many of us out there can be nervous about sharing our ideas and perhaps even applying for programs like this…but I deeply encourage you to try and try again.

Okay, enough of that, now onwards to who these people were:

Group picture of Team EITCHA

Project: Escola Itinerante de Tecnologia Cidadã Hacker — EITCHA
Lead: Leonardo Sehn Alves
Location: Brazil
Description: EITCHA is a project to designed to teach children in schools around Porto Alegro in Brazil about open science, citizen science, open software and hardware, open data and information security. Project leads will be leading 3-day workshops demonstrating these concepts by teaching students how to program, deploy, and collect data through a meteorological station at their school.
Learn more and get involved: Website — http://eitcha.org/ / Gitlab repository — https://gitlab.com/eitcha

Project: Building an Open Data community in Madagascar
Lead: Fabienne Rafidiharinirina (Twitter: @assomaidi)
Location: Madagascar
Description: This project aims to develop and implement a five-month training program for young students and engage them in establishing an Open Data Community in Madagascar. This will be achieved through data training courses, online and field data collection and the creation of an open data platform especially designed to publish data collected by non profit organizations.
Learn more and get involved: http://www.association-maidi.mg

Project: Binder workshops
Lead: Tim Head (Twitter: @betatim / GitHub: @betatim)
Location: Switzerland
Description: Over six months, the leaders of this project will develop and test-drive a one day Binder workshop for educators, journalists and scientists who want to learn to use Binder to improve the accessibility, shareability and reusability of their work. The workshop will be tested at three events in Europe.
Learn more and get involved: https://mybinder.org/

Project: ETER || a free/libre air-quality monitor for education & research
Lead: Julieta Arancio (Twitter: @cassandreces / GitHub: @thessaly)
Location: Argentina
Description: A six-month project for co-prototyping an open source air quality monitor with high school teachers. This will accompany the development of open educational resources around why and how to run open science school projects.
Learn more and get involved: https://github.com/rlyehlab/eter

‘¡Vuela!’ means ‘fly!’ in Spanish. Image designed by @teddiet.wee

Project: Open Science Drone Toolkit
Leads: Gustavo Pereyra Irujo & Paz Bernaldo (Twitter: @gpereyrairujo & @PazByC)
Location: Argentina & Chile
Description: Through seven open and collaborative workshops in Chile & Argentina, this project will support the prototyping of an open source drone toolkit for improving scientific research in different fields and to help advance a community of collaborators and users of open science tools in South America.
Learn more and get involved: https://osf.io/fscn4/

Project: DNA sequencing to the people
Lead: Lisa Thalheim (Twitter: @li5a / GitHub: @lthalheim)
Location: Germany
Description: The goal of this project is to put DNA sequencing into the hands of amateurs by running a series of workshops on a) creating open source hardware and protocols and b) giving people hands-on experience with DNA sequencing.
Learn more and get involved: https://github.com/lthalheim/DITSeq

Project: Promoting Inclusive STEM Education — Tactile Material & 3D Printing
Lead: Nikolaos Nerantzis (Twitter: @nerantzis / GitHub: @nerantzis)
Location: Greece
Description: With a goal of promoting inclusive STEM education, this project aims to create tactile & 3D printing material to engage typical development, special educational needs and visually impaired students. Materials will be created through a series of five workshops taking place in upper primary & secondary schools.
Learn more and get involved: https://acoaf.wordpress.com

Project: Open Knowledge Maps Enthusiasts
Lead: Maxi Schramm (Twitter: @ok_Maps / GitHub: @OpenKnowledgeMaps)
Location: Austria
Description: Open Knowledge Maps seeks to establish a worldwide community of power users and ambassadors to involve users more strongly in the Open Knowledge Map platform creation process and to enable them to spread the knowledge of visual literature search techniques and increase access to scientific knowledge. They will do this through development of training materials, establishment of a community coordinator and a community infrastructure.
Learn more and get involved: https://openknowledgemaps.org

Photo of Project Lead, Caleb Kibet

Project: Promoting Open, Reproducible, and Collaborative Bioinformatics Research in Kenya
Lead: Caleb Kibet (Twitter: @Calkibet / Gitter: @kipkurui)
Location: Kenya
Description: This project seeks to sensitize and promote open and reproducible bioinformatics research within Nairobi by organizing meetups, workshops and hack-a-thons to promote bioinformatics research. Target groups are graduate students and highly motivated undergraduate students in local universities.
Learn more and get involved:https://github.com/kipkurui/OpenScienceInBioinformatics-Kenya

So there you have it folks, some truly amazing people to collaborate with. I encourage you to take the time to find which ones speak to you and get involved. Or…apply to the program itself. Boo-yah! Thanks for reading!

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