Hackasaurus’s first official Hack Jam was on 3-24-12 (Saturday). The Hack Jam wasn’t for students but for educators which was quite interesting. The educators had a lot of energy and that was their first time learning and using X-Ray Goggles. The educators were excited for students to come to their schools and facilitate hack jams for their students. The first hack jams for the students in 3-30-12 in Atlantic Avenue. The educators infected me with some of their energy and I cannot wait to teach kids about X-Ray Goggles and look at their faces light up like the educators did. Hack Jams promise to be a lot of FUN already!!!!


i was in my first work shop and it was pretty fun and i really was impressed how fast they learn compared to me who took about a month to learn most of the things 

day one was super fun i meet the people im going to be teaching kids with they where very fun and im excited to be helping them with the work shop and i also realized how lucky i am to be in a shadow ship like this one 

On Monday, Omar, Zainab, Youssef and Jose facilitated their first Hack Jam – teaching members of their MOUSE Corps team. Here are their amazingly festive links from the “Hack the Holidays” challenge:

The Hive Mozilla Youth Ambassador training theme of the day today was facilitation- aka Hack Jam 101. Although the thought of running an event can be daunting- our team was up for the challenge. Today was the third session in our training series.

The first thing that we did today- was discuss the upcoming hack jams that the MoYo Ambassadors will help facilitate. First, on Monday we will be running a hack jam for their peers at Mouse- and then later in the year they will be helping TASC with several after school programs.

We started the training by reviewing the 5 steps to running a hack jam for youth, which is part of the recently launched Hacktivity Kit.


The 5 steps guide readers from preparation to facilitation of an event for youth using the Hackasaurus tools.  The team was quick to note that a hack jam- is like a music jam session- where participants could riff off of eachother’s work!

We then reviewed the logistics for the event on Monday.

We looked at the event space and came up with several solutions for creating a maker space where participants can work in the “open”.


We also brainstormed and came up with a theme for our event- called “Hacking the Holidays.” Our team quickly noted that we covered a lot of things in our two workshops, so we decided to simplify our hack jam by only covering hacking (not getting into webmaking). We came up with a list of learning objectives for the 2 hour event:



The group then set to work. The first order of business was coming up with a good ice breaker to communicate what we mean when we say “hack”.  We played a game that Chloe Varelidi and I modded for the Media, Freedom and the Web festival.  Each participant got 3 cards- a Goal, Mechanic and Concept card. The goal and concept cards were filled out in advance but the youth came up with the concept for the final activity.


Everyone came up with pretty creative solutions including a tweet game- where users had to Hack a Tweet and a game where participants were presented with a problem in a photograph and had to edit the photo to in order to save the day. Ultimately- the group decided to go with a dance battle game for the jam at Mouse.

We then took some time to come up with an event plan for the jam. We came up with an agenda, and assigned roles:

We then paired  off an practiced talking to each other about the project. I then challenged everyone  to make videos of their pitches on the topic of What is Hackasaurus and Why is it Important to Code. (Check out the videos in the previous posts on this blog!- they are fantastic)

Finally, we walked through everyone’s roles for Monday and talked about what to do when troubleshooting. It was a great day and I know we all are looking forward to their first event on Monday.



me and jose's

this is me and jose’s icebreaker

So me and Zainab Created Two icebreaker for the Mouse Hack jam on monday.

Ice Breaker 1:

Tweet Hacking

I would send a tweet saying, My favorite game is… Then someone would hack this tweet, then someone else would hack their tweet, and so on and so forth. The tweets would by tracked by the hashtag: Hackthistweet

Ice Breaker 2:

Decode Dancing:

I would dance something, and the participants would try to guess what i am saying. Then Zainab would say what i mean. Then we would explain that zainab knew what  my dance ment because she knew what the moves ment. We would then explain this is  like knowing code. Knowing code will allow you to know what people put on their website.

Wednesday was the second HIVE Mozilla Youth Ambassador training at Mouse. Today was focused on making that pivotal move from hacking bits and pieces of the web with the X-Ray Goggles to designing webpages with HTML and style.

We started out by stretching our content creation muscles with the Superhero Design Challenge. Participants were asked to look back at the “I think X makes the web special” and the “I think that X makes the web difficult to use” brainstorms that we did in session 1. We chose one aspect of the web to defend or compete against if they were a Superhero of the Open Web. They we used this as the basis for creating  a short web- ready biography for their fictional superhero of the open web. We discussed what makes a good bio as well as what makes for good writing on the web.

Everyone presented their stories:

“Captain  Super wall-  he has the power to throw fire balls at villains how try to cross the wall. A long time ago in a far school named cyber squad. were super wall a student was elected to go visit one of the most advanced technology in the hold city, but something when wrong in it’s visit. he touched  one of the controllers and he  when into  cyber world. it took him to  firewall city. where his mission is to let good information go in and burn bad things. “- by Jose

Then,  we  paired up and created an arch nemesis for our partner’s superhero. Here is Captain Super Wall’s arch nemesis, Title Wave:

“Title Wave sends title waves of info that is not needed does that because he thinks all info is good and also thinks that all info should have equal rights ” – by Youssef

Now that everyone had bios, we were ready for some publicity! We went into online news organization sites and remixed the pages to include stories of our characters saving the day, or ruining the day as it were.   We  had a great time taking photos with Photobooth on our computers and doing post production and image manipulation in Aviary:

We remixed the html and style with the X- Ray Goggles and presented projects, and then talked a bit about how to trouble shooted problems with the coding.

We then discussed the various components that make up a webpage, including:  HTML, CSS, graphic assets and text content and reviewed that the combination of an opening tag and its corresponding closing tag and the content in between is called an element. 

The final challenge for this workshop was to make an instructional “how to” webpage from a template- without the goggles. In order to do this, we all came up with things that we we experts at- we had a peanut butter and jelly maker, a hand turkey illustrator, a good music connoisseur!  I gave everyone a crash course in web DESIGN. We talked about the importance in identifying a user and designed information architecture as well as wireframes for all of the sites.

Participants used a prototype that Atul Varma and I worked on as a spin off of the Hackbook that Anna Debenham created to help users craft webpages from templates.

In the end, everyone made the “how to” pages and we all critiqued the structure, style and design of each presenters work.

 How to Sleep

Overall the workshop was a  success – we user tested old and new tools as well as curriculum and workshop participants came a way with 2 webpages that they made in a stretch of 4 hours!

Next Up:  How to Run a Hack Jam