Robots! Localization! Future Libraries Mozparty in Greece!

One of the (endless, really) reasons I love my job at Mozilla is that it is driven by a global community of webmakers from places that range from Nigeria, to Australia, to…Greece! During our Summer Code Party we have seen this community in action organizing Mozparty events in more than 70 countries. In that spirit, it was especially exciting for me to see an event organized in my home country of Greece- by an inspiring project called Future Libraries.

Funded by the Stavros Niarhos Foundation Future Libraries is part of an initiative that aims to bring youth together to tinker with media and technology, become makers and grow a community of connected learners.

What makes the collaboration with the Future Library in Veria, Greece unique ( aside from my obvious enthusiasm for working with Greek educators) is that it was an opportunity for our Learning Team to localize and integrate Thimble content to an interest driven event.

When we first started talking with George Bikas, one of the superstar mentors at the library, he explained to us that he had planned a Robotics workshop and was looking to integrate a Thimble activity in his curriculum. Together we chose to hack the Make your own web-based “how-to” Thimble project and adapt it to what he wanted to do.

Thimble’s Make Your Own Web-Based How To, localized in Greek

A few days later, we had a Greek version, simply made by directly editing into Thimble in order to translate the comments and fonts, then publishing and using that link as a new project (Check it out here). Pierros a MozRep from Athens (also known amongst the Learning Team as “The Awesome Pierros”) who was vacationing close to Veria (extra MozRep points of incredible commitment) came to help George with the facilitation. A great week of making followed with the kids creating tutorials for others on how to assemble their own “professional” as they stated robot.

Robot Maker in action, Picture by Veria Public Library

One of the tutorials made by the youth who participated

In the next months we will be working closely with George and Dimitris from Future Library as the Hive Pop-Up in Athens will also start taking shape (more exciting Greek stuff there). In the meantime, this is an inspiring story for our community on how we can easily localize content to make it relevant and accessible to local communities. Also as we are designing new Thimble projects it is good to keep in mind ways to include modular projects like the above one, that can be easily included in an interest driven curriculum.

And if it’s not all Greek to you, you can check some of the links below from the webpages the kids made, kindly collected by George.

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