There are many projects in my time that I’ve been passionate about, honored to have curated and personally gratified by others’ responses to, but none more than HacKid.
What is HacKid?
HacKid is a new kind of non-profit conference focused on providing an interactive, hands-on experience for the entire family — kids aged 5-17 & their parents — in order to raise awareness, excitement and understanding of technology, gaming, mathematics, safety, privacy, networking, security and engineering and their impact on society and culture.
The first HacKid conference is in Cambridge, MA on the weekend of October 9th and 10th, 2010.
The activities and sessions at HacKid are many and varied in topic. Some of the things the kids and parents will do are:
- Learn About Online & Social Networking Safety
- Make a
- Learn How to Deal With
- Learn Kodu &
Scratch Programming Languages
- Build An
Interactive Robot 3D printer
- Discover Hair Hacking
- Learn How the Internet works
- Get Creative With Food Hacking
- Manipulate Hardware & Software For Fun
- Dive Into Electronics
- Learn magic
- Build a trebuchet
- Meet & interact With Law Enforcement
- Learn About Low-impact Martial Arts/Self-Defense
There’s a ton of stuff to learn and get excited about.
The gist of the idea for HacKid (sounds like “hacked,” get it?) came about when I took my three daughters aged 6, 9 and 14 along with me to the Source Security conference in Boston. It was fantastic to have them engage with my friends, colleagues and audience members as well as ask all sorts of interesting questions regarding the conference, however while they were interested in some things, it wasn’t engaging for them because it wasn’t relevant, it wasn’t interactive, it wasn’t hands-on…it wasn’t targeted to them.
…and it wasn’t meant to be.
I went home that night, registered the domain name, tweeted about it and was overwhelmed with people who said they wanted to help make this a reality. The next day I reached out to the folks at Microsoft’s New England Research and Development (NERD) center in Cambridge and they kindly volunteered their amazing facilities. From that moment on (a few months) it’s been on like Donkey Kong.
We have some amazingly kind and generous sponsors: USENIX, Microsoft, Kaspersky, Barracuda, IOActive, Cisco, Elenco, Trustwave, ISC2, You-Do-It Electronics, O’Reilly, and the Cloud Security Alliance. Also, I’ve been blessed with some amazing volunteer help in the form of my Board of Advisors: Andy Ellis, Zach Lanier, Jack Daniel, Joe Garcia, Tim Mugherini, Tim Krabec, Jennifer Hoff, Tiffany Rad, Ryan Naraine, and David Blank-Edelman.
I’m really excited about how this is turning out and we’re going to replicate it across the country/world after we wrap the first one in Boston. The wiki details some of the other candidate venues.
I do hope you’ll join us. Space is running out and we’re closing registration on 10/6, so get typing if you and your kids want to come: www.regonline.com/hackid