Students, 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.
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.
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.
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.