2015 Year in Review

This has been a productive year for Hive Vancouver. As the two Vancouver Reps, Helen Lee and I have teamed up closely with the value-aligned Maker Foundation and both groups have co-sponsored a series of Maker Education Salons (MakerEd). We are aiming for quarterly salons, but this year we had two Salons and one larger Hive Pop-Up event.

The two MakerEd, March 3rd (at the Mozilla offices) and June 20th (at the Vancouver Public Library (VPL), including a tour of their brand-new Inspiration Lab) each featured 5-6 community partner groups giving short presentations about what their work is, what services they provide to the community, and how to get involved. Each also provided time for people to mingle and share ideas and contact information. Attendees were a mix of teachers, school administrators, librarians, community center organizers, parents, kids, and makers.

Helen and I also participated in Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, June 6th and 7th, to promote Hive Vancouver and the Maker Education Salons. Mozilla also had a booth there to demo Webmaker. There is a lot of energy that comes out of Maker Faire, and a lot of interest in continuing activities beyond the once-a-year event, and right now MakerEd is where we (and the Maker Foundation which puts on Maker Faire) are channeling people.

After Maker Faire, the Vancouver Public Library approached us to put on another Hive Pop-Up event, based on the success of last year’s event. We agreed and started approaching partners who had expressed interest in participating. Helen has a great write-up of the Pop-Up, which featured the VPL’s Teen Services and Inspiration Lab departments, Science World, UBC’s How We Learn Lab, Access to Media Education Society, Marshmallow Coding, VIVO Media Arts Society, Mozilla Webmaker, ITA Youth, Maker Foundation, and (as a sponsor) Mainland Advanced Research Society. The event went very well and there was a ton of engagement from both partners and presenters.

As part of our involvement with MakerEd we’ve also been able to help support the growth of other MakerEd groups, one in the Fraser Valley and one in North Vancouver. While Helen and I haven’t been able to participate in these directly, we have given encouragement, helped to promote them, and shared resources.

My understanding of Mozilla Hive is that it is about three things:

1. Providing a directory of educational activities and groups in a town
2. Help learners to map their own learning pathways and providing support to them in doing so.
3. Introduce our partner groups to each each other so that networked they are stronger together than they would be on their own.

I think we’ve made progress on all of these, but especially on #3. We’ve also helped inspire the Maker Foundation to be interest in #1, so in the next year we may be able to make better progress on that as well. At Pop-Up was especially inspiring to see our community partners figuring out ways to collaborate together more closely and build on each others’ strengths.