Tag Archives: YouthZone

Mozilla Festival 2019 – Youth Zone needs your sessions!

This year, the Mozilla festival is once again returning around the Autumn half-term. This year’s festival is taking place on the 26th-27th October, at Ravensbourne College, London.

The Call for Proposals is open from 1st June – 1st August 2019 and Youth Zone needs your amazing sessions!

What is Mozfest?

Mozfest is a tech conference/festival hosted by Mozilla, featuring over 300 sessions, 2,500+ attendees and over 500 facilitators.

The festival is split up into a number of different “Spaces”, of which one is the Youth Zone.

Families busy in the Makerspace

What is the Youth Zone?

The Youth Zone is a space dedicated to young people and the young at heart! We focus very heavily on hands on activities/workshops and have had everything in the past number of years from workshops carrot clarinets to unicorn horns to bird-boxes.

We also focus on giving young people the opportunity to run their own sessions. This is why on average we accept around 50% of our sessions each year, from young people. In the past, we have accepted sessions run by facilitators as young as 10!

The formal space description this year is the following…
Mission Brief: Join us on an adventure to create the future of the internet.
A space for young people and those young at heart to make, to code, and to discuss things they are passionate about. We will explore our skills, showcase talented youth, discover how computers make smart choices, and help inspire everyone to make better decisions about their use of the internet and wider technology.

Embark with us on a voyage of hands-on activities, lightning talks, art installations, and outright wacky workshops. We welcome onboard a cosmic crew made up from a mixture of planets and species.

SET your phasers to FUN.

Getting hands on with electronics and coding

What types of sessions are we looking for?

This of course is the big question… What type of sessions are we looking for at this years festival?
Before we can answer this question, it is probably best to describe the physical areas in Youth Zone.

  • The Makerspace – An experiment in 2018 (and returning in 2019), a room filled with scrap/cardboard/LEDs/batteries/lots of other arts/craft supplies!
    This space suits hands on maker workshops.
  • The laptop labs – These rooms are kitted out with a collection of laptops. This works well for activities that run in the web. Installing software is a little more difficult, but chances are we can make it work! Laptop sessions from 2018.
  • The Raspberry Pi lab – This room is kitted out with Raspberry Pis. You can run workshops involving physical computing/electronics, general coding etc in this lab. Raspberry Pi sessions from 2018.
  • Large discussion room – A large room set aside for big group based discussions. Although we generally aren’t looking for up front talks/lectures, if you have a super exciting topic that involves a hands on aspect, this room would fit that. Large discussion room sessions from 2018.
  • Small discussion rooms – These rooms are perfect for smaller 5-10 people discussions on a topic. Small discussion room sessions from 2018.
  • The prototyping space – A large space up on the 9th floor with lasercutters/3D printers/plenty of other digital fabrication equipment. In general, we only accept sessions using the lasercutters, unless in special circumstances. Prototyping space sessions from 2018.

So what types of sessions then?

We are looking for

  • Hands on makerspace workshops (think making a musical instrument from a carrot… Or perhaps make something amazing that is craft themed?
  • Coding workshops for kids – This is usually our most popular batch of workshops each year. To be accepted, they need to be fun, engaging and hands on! The full list can be found here.
  • Prototyping space workshops – Specifically workshops making good use of the lasercutters. For example.
  • Discussion workshops – Workshops on tech topics for young people. That could be e-safety to youth online privacy to “gamestorming” for example. The theme this year is all around machine decision making, could you do a discussion/workshop for kids on that topic?
  • Installations – We are looking for hands on / techy installations for the young people to engage with. For example.

As well as all these sessions above, the festival theme this year is “Healthy AI”. We are really excited to see what ideas you all have on how we can make understanding AI / Machine Learning accessible to young people. More details about the theme can be found here.

Building games in Scratch

I have a crazy session idea!

Fantastic! Head over to the Call for Proposals page and get it submitted!

Building musical instruments out of… Butter tubs…

I have a question?

We can give a go at answering it. Simply send us over an email at youthzone at mozillafestival.org

Mozfest 2018 – Only 24 hours to go of the CfP!

Call for Proposals ->>> https://mozillafestival.org/proposals

With the Mozilla Festival (Mozfest) Call for Proposals closing in just a few days away (it closes on 1st August 2018 at 6pm PST), I have had a flurry of last minute questions so I thought I would throw together a quick post for this year for what we are looking for.

First off, a brief introduction. I am one of the Wranglers for YouthZone, the section of the festival that is there to provide young people with a platform to get involved with the festival, learn and teach others. The festival takes place in London at Ravensbourne College on the 27th/28th October.
I will also start by saying usually over half of our sessions are lead by young people (with the youngest to date being 12). This is not to say we are not also looking for adults to lead sessions for young people, but we do give young people submitting sessions priority (sorry adults!)

Building a Naturebytes camera project at Mozfest

  1. So what might you submit a session on then?…
    This is the important one, isn’t it? Well, we are looking for any techy topic. Perhaps this could be a coding workshop, perhaps it could be a discussion on how the benefits and issues of social media or even a talk on on how the internet works (maybe not the whole internet…)
    There is a very wide range of topics that you could run a session on. We generally though split them up into 3 types
    – Learning forums – Basically discussions/talks.
    – Galleries – Installations/exhibits that last usually longer than a single session.
    – Shed – Hands on workshops.For shed sessions, we will have at least 1 Raspberry Pi computer lab (if not 2 labs) available (along with accompanying hardware like Microbits/lots of HATs) so are always looking for sessions that make use of that equipment. Do keep in mind though we don’t have a lab of laptops/iPads (and attendees don’t always bring a device of their own).
  2. How long is a session?
    In general a session at Mozfest is an hour, but sometimes a little longer and sometimes a little shorter. A “gallery” installation generally may last a full day or even the full weekend.
  3. How many people would be in my session?
    This hugely depends on the type of session. For discussions, we usually will only have a max of maybe 10 people. For coding/making workshops, there might be up to 30 people. If you would prefer to do your workshop for a certain number (or have a particular limit), just let us know and we will see what we can do.
  4. What age attendees should I expect?
    This one is a bit of a tough one… The most common ages are the 8-15 bracket, but it is possible you end up with younger or older. Remember adults are allowed to attend YouthZone workshops as well.
  5. How many sessions run over the weekend in YouthZone?
    We usually have anywhere from 40-60 sessions that are selected and run over the Saturday/Sunday in YouthZone alone, across up to 10 different physical spaces on our floor.
  6. I would love to submit a session and come along, but I can’t afford it…
    We understand getting to and staying in London for a weekend can be expensive. So as part of the process, it is possible to request a travel/accommodation stipend if you need it. This can be applied for as part of the submission process.
    As well, with YouthZone we usually run a separate programme for young people from the UK where using one of our official Mozilla stipends wouldn’t make sense.
    We do though only have a very limited number of stipends available so we can’t guarantee we can provide you with one of course.
  7. I have more questions!?!?!?
    Great! If you want to take a look at the sessions we accepted last year to get some rough ideas, they can be found here – https://guidebook.com/guide/114124/schedule/#date/10-28-2017/track/302458
    If you have further questions though, feel free to leave a comment below or drop me a tweet.

Call for Proposals ->>> https://mozillafestival.org/proposals

It’s not just kids in YouthZone!