Posts about Beaver Barcamp, an annual event hosted by the Open Source Lab.

Connecting at Beaver BarCamp 12

More than 160 students, community members and educators gathered in the Kelley Engineering Center at Oregon State to share ideas, make connections and learn together at the Open Source Lab’s Beaver BarCamp 12 on Saturday, October 12. An informal conference hosted twice each year by the Open Source Lab, Beaver BarCamp encourages attendees to participate by both presenting sessions and participating in discussions. Throughout the day, 50 sessions were presented, with topics ranging from Python programming to starting a business to creating a universe.

At Beaver BarCamp, sessions are scheduled the morning of the event: everyone writes the session they are interested in presenting on a Post-It note. Interest in sessions is gauged by having participants place dot stickers on their favorite sessions. Next, OSL staff arrange the schedule according to the needs of the presenters and popularity of sessions. Wendy Kincade, a master’s student at the University of Oregon, has attended Beaver BarCamp since it began in 2008 and enjoys the freedom this aspect of BarCamp provides.

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A look back at Beaver BarCamp 1

A session during the first Beaver BarCamp (Photo by Timothy Budd)

After attending BarCamp Portland, Alex Polvi was inspired to create a similar opportunity for Corvallis. At the time, Polvi was a computer science student at Oregon State University, and he approached Associate Professor Timothy Budd about creating a BarCamp on campus. After driving up to Portland with some students in order to see a how a BarCamp is organized, Budd began creating the first Beaver BarCamp, with the help of his students and Corvallis community members from the Software Association of Oregon. The first Beaver BarCamp was held on March 1, 2008.

Timing is everything, and it just so happened that Budd had recently received a grant from IBM to promote open source technology. With those funds, the group was able to pay for food, t-shirts, and the rental fee for the Kelley Engineering Center, all essential elements of holding a BarCamp.

“It was nice to not have to worry about fundraising as we were figuring everything else out,” Budd says.

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Students & Community Members Learn Together at Beaver BarCamp 11

People gathering before the first session at Beaver BarCamp 11Students, community members and professionals gather before the first session at Beaver BarCamp 11.

More than 150 Oregon State students, community members and students from other Oregon universities gathered in the Kelley Engineering building April 20 to attend the Open Source Lab’s Beaver BarCamp 11. Attendees presented nearly 50 sessions on a wide range of topics ranging from the technical to the recreational, including successful system administration, mead brewing and how to turn a T-shirt into a tie.

The open, supportive atmosphere found at Beaver BarCamp encourages students and community members to come together, share what they know and learn from each other. After OSL Director Lance Albertson’s welcome speech, Beaver BarCamp participants created the schedule together, adding session titles to the board on large Post-it notes.

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Students, Community and Professionals Collaborate at Beaver BarCamp 10

On Oct. 13, more than 150 people gathered in Kelley Engineering Center to attend the Oregon State University Open Source Lab’s Beaver BarCamp 10. Beaver BarCamp is a semiannual unconference that brings together students as well as community members to discuss technology, recreation and ideas in an interactive setting.

Beaver BarCamp 10 featured attendee-led sessions on a variety of topics and was sponsored by Mozilla, RackSpace and the Oregon State University School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In addition to sessions held by students on topics ranging from whistling to virtualization to playing poker, Mozilla employees presented three sponsored sessions on Web security, writing for the Web and building open Web apps.

“All of the talks by Mozilla were really cool,” says Chance Zibolski, an Oregon State computer science student. “I really enjoyed getting to learn a lot just by seeing what other people are working on.”

Beaver BarCamp 10 attendees share lunch and conversation in the KEC. Photo courtesy of Mike Morgan.

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Setting The Bar High

Recap of Beaver Barcamp 9

The Oregon State University Open Source Lab’s Beaver BarCamp 9 brought around 70 people to the Kelley Engineering Center on April 21 to discuss projects, explore new interests and share ideas. The sessions held throughout the day varied greatly in topic — from robotics to hydroponic gardening to gaming — but all shared an open forum and flexibility that promoted discussion and collaborative learning.

In Daniel Miller’s session, Indoor Hydroponic Gardening, he used diagrams and photos to demonstrate how he built a hydroponic gardening structure in his small room using materials purchased at a home improvement store. Nearly all of the 10 people who attended Miller’s session spoke at least once, asking for clarification about his methods, offering suggestions on how to improve the structure and even giving Miller ideas about what to make once the tomatoes he is cultivating are ripe. The most popular suggestions? Pizza and salsa.

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OSL ‘Unconference’ Approaches

The Oregon State University Open Source Lab will host Beaver BarCamp 9 Saturday, April 21, in the Kelley Engineering Center. The event is free and open to anyone, including OSU students of all majors and interests, faculty and community members.

Beaver BarCamp is an opportunity to learn about an assortment of projects, skills and interests through discussion in an open, participant-led format. Attendees are invited to devise and lead interactive sessions that others at the conference can join. In the past, BarCamp sessions have focused both on computer and software development and on completely non-technical subjects. Topics have included writing software applications, learning Spanish, screenplay writing, the computer science gender gap, improving Web security and biking, among others.

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Highlights From Beaver Barcamp 8

Beaver BarCamp 8 Quick Facts:
  • Number of T-Shirts Ordered: 100
  • Number of Raffle Tickets Distributed: 136
  • OSL Mugs Raffled Off: 6
  • Happy Recipients of Kindle Fire Door Prize: 1
  • Hero Sandwiches Consumed: 42' of Tasty
  • Awesome Sponsors: Mozilla, SAO Corvallis and Thumb Arcade
  • Cool Factor: 11

The Oregon State University community shared its talents, knowledge and ideas this past Saturday, October 29th, in the Kelley Engineering Center during Beaver BarCamp 8 (BBC 8), an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees.

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