Community Jam Boston


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Community Jam Boston
At the Cambridge Science Festival 2008

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In A Nutshell

Community Jam Boston (well Cambridge really)
Where: Cambridge Science Festival -- | MIT Stata Center -- directions -- map
When: Saturday May 3 2008, 10 am - 2 pm Goals:
Get kids excited about learning and science exploration tools
Generate enthusiasm for OLPC and its goals
Grow the local XO User Community
Create a model for a grassroot-driven Jam that can be easily replicated elsewhere


The Greater Boston Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery ( is sponsoring this Community Jam as part of the 2nd Annual Cambridge Science Festival. Last year GBC/ACM sponsored an evening talk by Jim Gettys, VP of Software Engineering for OLPC, that was attended by about 100 people. This year we want to have a hands-on event.

More details on the the event coming here soon.

Call for Presenters!

We need you to be a part of the Cambridge Science Festival OLPC/XO Community Jam!

Unlike some other Jams, this one is not so much about producing content as it is about building community, connections and energy around the XO and what can be done with it. This will help foster many future events, both locally and globally, with more specific focus. Think of it as an opportunity to "Show and Tell" something exciting about the XO.

We're looking for folks who can present on various topics and share what they've been doing with a diverse audience. The Festival attracts a range of people: kids, high school & college students, and adults; technically savvy (computer professionals, MIT students) and not so (Mom and Dad and the kids).

We have a very nice, large room in the Stata Center at MIT. It has a central seating area with video projector and large screen, and is surrounded by many smaller areas with tables and whiteboards for focused activities.

We plan to provide food and refreshments. You'll have our eternal gratitude for your help, recognition on the website (blogs and photos), and get to connect with lots of other interesting and interested folks.

If you're interested in presenting, organizing, or helping with activities, please email me -- EdwardF or leave a message on my talk page, and register with your comments at You can also register there if you only plan to attend. EdwardF

I want to participate!

Jams are collaboratively organized events, so the best way to get started is to just dive in and introduce yourself. Participating in this Jam? Have ideas? Want to coordinate rides, teams, projects, or talk about the Jam? Edit the Jam Talk Page!

  • Are you a GameJam veteran organizer?
  • A developer experienced with the XO software tools and/or OSS community development style?
  • A knowledgeable and enthusiastic user of the XO software (Sugar, eToys, etc.)?
  • A UI person who can lead folks in paper-prototyping or story-boarding their ideas?
  • Skilled and comfortable working with kids?
  • Can you bring XO laptops and/or PC laptops with the emulator / development environment?
  • Can you show off the hardware design of the XO, take one apart and explain the internals?
  • Can you describe the community development process for Open Source Software?
  • Have you used an XO in some interesting and creative way?

Activities we are considering:

  • XO hardware tear-down: show off the internals
  • Explain the innovative display technology
  • Fixing minor problems on your XO (if you ever need to)
  • How to develop your own software for the XO
  • XO mesh networking (802.11s) explained (light or heavy on tech details, your choice)
  • Install and demonstrate Sugar environment running on a non-XO laptop (we'll have live CDs to pass out)
  • Demonstrate XO applications -- folks can try hands-on
  • International development in non-english languages
  • International Children's Digital Library
  • XO game & application brainstorming -- story-board or paper-prototyping (mostly for kids, but adults too)
  • Using the XO for teaching science
  • Temperature sensor experiment (Arjun or Mel?)
  • Other sensor (sound?) experiment
  • Acoustic yardstick application
  • Star chart application
  • Biometrics / diversity experiment -- use camera to measure skin color, show how we're all different shades!
  • Same as above but measure eye or hair color
  • The OLPC story -- show slides and talk about kids are doing with it around the world
  • Take photos and video of the Jam and put them online in (near) real time
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