Before the Event
Contact local like-minded organziations. Research organizations in your area interested in technology and learning. Ideally, these organizations believe that one learns best when making something, and that there is a lot of value in out-of-school learning. Talk about the organizations' interests, goals and the people they serve.
Curate great learning stations. Invite organizations to host a learning station: a simple hands-on activity based on the work they do in the community. Stations should teach something about technology in an accessible way. Use the Web Literacy Map for inspiration and sample activities.
Stations can be explored in 5 minutes but can expand longer if the participant is interested. Coach the station hosts so that participants can easily float between stations and share what they create.
Learning Station Ideas:
- Hack a Boardgame: Reveal the mechanics of a game and break down the true definition of "hacking" in this fun, tinkering activity. At the end, learners will understand that hacking is something that can be done in everyday life.
- Make your own How-to with Thimble: Use HTML to remix and create a tutorial for anything!Help teach a bit of HTML and have learners publish and share their makes.
- Make it Interactive: Bring a Radio Story to Life: Use Popcorn Maker to explore how imagery influences the way someone hears or reads a piece of text. Use this fun, collaborative activity as a way to document your event!
- 3D Printing from Minecraft: Login to Printcraft's Minecraft server to build Minecraft objects that you can then export and print on a 3D printer! Learners will understand how 3D modeling works and have an artifact to take home with them.
- Make a Scratch game: Teach the basics of computational thinking and programming by helping learners make a game using MIT Media Lab’s Scratch.
Pick a Date and Location: Give yourself plenty of time and make sure the date works for the participating organizations. Find a comfortable, flexible space. You'll need tables for each station and room to move around. Be creative – maybe try a cafe, library or a hackerspace. Ensure there is Internet, power and good lighting. Maybe even snacks!
Promote and Invite. Think about your target participants. What are they interested in? How can you approach them? Make invitations tailored to their interests. Ask the participating organizations to also promote the event in their communities. Add your event to the Maker Party site and invite everyone to come!
Set-Up and Welcome. Set up tables in a large circle. Use posters or other signage to indicate the different stations. Remind facilitators to welcome newcomers, and make sure the supporting event team knows what to do and what stations they're helping.
Gather the group in a circle and invite them to introduce themselves. Maybe throw in a fun game to warm up. Give your participants an overview of the event and how they can interact with the stations.
Help Participants Engage. During the event, help people find things to do, encourage people to move around freely and have fun. They can stay at stations as long as they want. Maybe appoint a few floating guides to people find the right station for them.
Share what you made. After an hour or two, bring the group into a circle. Celebrate what participants made. Invite a few people to share their work. Encourage the group to post their work online with the tag #makerparty.
Ask participants for feedback. What did they learn? What did they enjoy? If they have suggestions for improvement, be sure to take notes or invite them to blog about it. Ask what the participants would like to do next. Provide links to websites where they can continue learning new skills and be part of the Webmaker community.
Be sure to capture their contact information so you can inform them about future events.
Debreif with station hosts. Once the public has gone, do a debrief with the participating organizations. Gather feedback and ask if the event served their communities. Talk about continuing to work together and whether there's interest in establishing a Hive Learning Network in your area.
Communicate with Organizations. Send a heartfelt "Thank you!" to participating organizations. Ask them to report on the event to their communities, and help them by providing photos, videos and links to the work that was created. Ask when these organizations might like to meet to continue the discussion of forming a Hive Learning Network.
Inspire Others. You can hack this event guide to create documentation for your event. Then post photos to your event page. Share your documentation widely. Please email us links to the things you made and your thoughts on the event. Join a global community call and talk about your event.