VR and AR at FootPrintsX8

Cross-posted on Mozilla Gujarat’s blog.

A Brief Introduction of FootPrints X8:

FootPrints, a National Level Technical Event annually. Commemorating its enigmatic journey of 17 years, FootPrints has now arrived at the threshold of its much awaited 18th year. Since its inception in 2001, FootPrints is rendering a platform to young minds all over the country. Our next edition, FootPrintsX8 is scheduled on 23rd, 24th and 25th of February, 2018. Year after year, FootPrints is striving towards new pinnacles of success. Every year visionary students from every corner of India expand their horizons, giving impetus to their diligent Innovations and inventive visions.

 

final_X8_dates (black)_SPONSO_new
MSU Technology Faculty’s Tech Fest is sponsored by various Firms from Gujarat and around.

FootPrints is about bringing a lot of college students at one stage to learn, compete and enjoy more. They have a huge offline marketing and promotional team which goes to various colleges since two months before the fest starts. Mozilla always teaches around 150 participants every year and this time there were 137 participants.

 

 

 

To know more, click here.

 

The Agenda:

 

  1. What is Mozilla?
  2. Mozilla’s Mission.
  3. What is VR and AR?
  4. Difference between VR and AR.
  5. How these Devices work?
  6. What all hardware’s involved?
  7. What all software’s involved?
  8. Where does A-Frame enter?
  9. What is WebGL?
  10. How do these work?
  11. Why HTML+CSS?
  12. Hacking: Scenes. Objects. Entities.Components.
  13. How to implement these in VR.
  14. How to implement these in AR.
  15. Hands-On.
  16. Demos.
  17. Hacking.
  18. Closing.

*twitter post*

A Brief Introduction of Mozilla Team:

  1. Prathamesh Chavan
  2. Md Shahbaz Alam
  3. Shina Dhingra
  4. Pratik Parmar
  5. Miten Kashiyani
  6. Dhaval Joshi
  7. Moommad Yahya
  8. HariOm Panchal
  9. Sohail Sheikh
  10. Vaidehi Parikh
  11. Sumit Rajput
  12. Pranshu Khanna

These were the Mozillians who helped in running this event very smoothly.

Day One

I reached the venue to set up the booth at around 9 AM and was shortly joined with Sohail. Before even properly setting up, I had opened my laptop flap open and a bunch of students who were passing by noticed the Mozilla logo to ask what is Mozilla doing here? I mentioned the booth and the workshop for which they got really excited. I asked them if they knew what Mozilla was, and they replied, it’s Firefox and I had to correct them which lead to more people joining in for a 20-minute conversation. They couldn’t get a seat at the workshop, unfortunately since the registrations were closed by then.

 

 

While this was happening, HariOm arrived and joined Sohail to set up the booth. He had come from all the way to Ahmedabad which is why he was a tad bit late. I was expecting Miten to be there sooner but I called him and got the news of him being stuck in a different city altogether. Other volunteers had informed me prior to the first day that they were going to unavailable for one reason or the other(most of them were doing awesome work somewhere else!).

 

The booth was decorated with the posters we had made for the MakerFest and we are so happy to have made those earlier because it wasn’t going to be easy for us to make those with our own hands. Huge shout-out to the people who helped us making those in MF’17 and MF’18 in Ahmedabad. We had many visitors and interacted with a lot of people in that heat.

 

That was the end of the booth on Day One, as we parted ways to meet the next day.

I arrived at the Guest House at midnight, since I wanted to receive Prathamesh, Shahbaz and Shina. I had met Prathamesh Sir at the MakerFest(#CouncilWaaleSir) and he was more than happy to have gotten the invitation to interact with more Mozilla Gujarat volunteers. I had met Shahbaz Bhaii earlier and had been in touch with him since MF’17. He was more than happy to top-up VR with AR. I hadn’t met Shina before, but she was starting with WebVR and was happy to come since our community has no female VR contributors and we needed someone to reach out to them.

Day Two

A very friendly and sweet Frankie a.k.a Ram Dayal a.k.a Maahir(This is the real name!) called Prathamesh Sir to wake up so that we could go ahead and reach on time for the workshop. We reached around 9:30, and started right away with Mozilla, Open Source and the basics of VR, and what is A-Frame. Apart from the Prathamesh, Shina, Shahbaz, it was me, Sohail, Miten, HariOm and Yahya, who were at the venue, taking care of the event process.

The speakers called lunch at 11:30.

“Chicken!”, cried the stomachs of a few who were going, except Miten. He is a vegetarian. We all departed for Nosh Faarmaiyen for some Mughlai and Avadhi delecacies, which is where a conversation was sparked about how Chickens and Vegetarians are harmful for the planet. Miten, the only vegetarian there could not make a valid case for them but you can comment on the blog if you can help him out because we certainly proved it to him. 😛

We ate a lot! Shahbaz Alam hadn’t eaten since the previous evening and I hadn’t eaten since more than 24 hours. The eating took a lot of time, we reached at the workshop around 1PM. Prathamesh Sir and Shahbaz Sir went and hit the spots right away by explaining how the tags work, how the JS link works, everything on Glitch. They got indulged in conversations and solving bugs with the participants along with the volunteers. Our goal was to prepare them to create and structure their scenes so that they can implement AR the next day!

After showing them the scenes, objects, animations, they were given a task, to create advanced scenes with their imagination by the end of the day. It was a havoc after that! We had a lot of people working in teams, and trying to create new scenes which we hadn’t seen before. People were free to participate and win t-shirts, whoever makes the best one!

We wrapped up the session after that to leave for the guest house and change. After changing, and freshening up we all took a trip to the nearby famous Kamatibaug. I have been in Baroda for years, but even I hadn’t visited it, ever! I missed it this time as well since, I had to rest a bit. I met them straight for dinner, at the Food Street near the guesthouse after which Shahbaz Sir had some trouble sleeping, but Prathamesh Sir slept soundly, which is when me, Pratik, Shina and Shahbaz Sir talked for over an hour. We discussed a lot of tech with the Blockchain Speaker, and called it a day.

Day Three

We woke up and reached right on time to start with AR. I had the privilege to ride behind Shina(terrible and rash driver!). I took a sigh when we reached the venue and got on with it. We went on ahead with AR ToolKit and explained a couple of examples and that was it. The FootPrints Volunteers then distributed the certificates and we were free from that point of time.

Prathamesh Sir had planned to visit the Laxmi Vilas Palace of Vadodara, which strangely in the 5 years of my stay in the city, even I hadn’t visited once. We all visited the royal palace and went KFC for lunch which wasn’t good. If you’ve come this far in the blog, you probably think of me as a food critic by now. After a disapponting meal, we went to the nearest McDonald’s and ate so many Piri Piri Chicken McNuggets. If you haven’t tried those yet, please do! They’re amazing. Nobody except me had, and each and everyone was so happy after eating those. ^.^

After everything was done, Shina and Prathamesh had to leave for their flight to Pune from Ahmedabad so we got to the guesthouse and bid them goodbye. The rest of us stayed in and talked with wach other for a couple of hours after that, and then others left as well. Me, Pratik and Shahbaz Bhai were the only ones left, and I had promised  to take him to eat Pancakes, which we did. After that, we went Juggernaut to watch Manchester United vs Chelsea’s streaming and Pratik was left stumped watching the passion of those 60-70 Manchester United fans in Baroda.

We left the cafe around 9PM and went ahead to one of my favorite restaurants in Vadodara, to eat Japani Fry. Pratik has lived for 21 years in thiscity but he had never heard of this restaurant or tried it, it was a pity. Shahbaz Bhai loved it, and I was really happy with the constant compliments coming my way since he was so delighted. He also mentioned that Prathamesh and Shina missed something really delicious, with which I completely agree.

We finished our dinner, walked a while to get ice cream and talked about Avenger vs Royal Enfield. Comment your choice! 😛

We reached the guesthouse and Pratik left for home, while me and Shahbaz Bhai had work to do which we finished, and he left at 2AM for his flight from Ahmedabad.

I hope tou enjoyed a 1000-1500 word Blog. Here are some pictures to look at and enjoy:

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Growing in a Comm-you-nity.

Growing in a Comm-you-nity.

Cross posted on my Medium Space.

Writing this post Maker Fest, Ahmedabad 2018, after getting a lot(seriously, a lot!) of questions like, “Why Open Source?”, “Why do it, if they don’t pay you?”, “You’re just a college student and so am I, how are you representing Mozilla and I’m just visiting?”

The fate of a community depends on how the leaders of the community shape it, and take it forward. This is a vague statement to which many would nod and say, “It is how it is. We go the way they take it forward”. I beg to differ!

First of all, there are no leaders in a community, there are guides, is what I feel. The experienced ones. I’m talking about the ones who don’t make the rules. I’m talking about the ones who can see themselves in every newbie out there. They can guide a newbie, acting as mentors to explore their limits. That’s the beauty of a community, even when there’s no mentor to guide you through it, you pave your way and develop the skills. Many could relate to this, and many are still puzzled and asking questions like, “Where to start?”

A community like Mozilla’s can make a big difference to your lives, we have a lot of examples in the community itself, and I’ve met a few of them and observed some things. The one thing common in a newly appointed Rep and Vineel Reddy Pindi Sir(Founder & Community Architect  — Mozilla India) is that they never gave up on what they believe in and as long as they will continue to do so, they will reach where they want to. I can simply state that because both of these people aren’t here for the positions they are in, it’s for the responsibilities they have and what they want to take on. Moreover, they realize what a big deal a community is, they realize how important it is, to take people forward but they can do as much as they can for as long as they can.

 

Mozilla Team at the MakerFest 2018, Ahmedabad.

The complete team at MakerFest 2018 was there because of the contributions they have made, because these people you see in the picture have been a part of the community for some time and are willing to do more. Personal rewards are to be kept aside, because whatever you learn in a community is priceless. With the exposure it offers by talking with like-minded people of the industry you are about to be a part of, after your college. You learn and move forward at a pace you are comfortable with.

It is for one to realize that participation is the key, and an Open Source Community helps us to do so, without any fee, without any restrictions or rules, it enables you. It enables you to a point where you can literally go anywhere, it is, on you. You might even be doing it for swags, for recognition, do it! I personally don’t encourage such attitude, but participate for the resources you’ve been provided so gloriously by the people who have felt the need for the resources you have now, in their learning days. This is the time for you to participate, to go on a limb and do everything you want to, because now you can.

You have the power to connect, and build yourself to an extent where you cannot imagine. Join in, and do as much as you can, now.

 

#WebVR @ MozNirma

#WebVR @ MozNirma

Cross posted on the Mozilla Gujarat’s blog.

DESCRIPTION:

A-Frame is a web framework for building virtual reality experiences, making it easy for anyone to get involved with virtual reality. Its goal is to onboard developers into 3D and advance WebVR, an open platform for virtual reality that leverages the Web. Having more developers and content creators playing with WebVR is important for the future of virtual reality to help build towards a free and open virtual reality platform not owned by any individual entity.

A-Frame is used extensively by the Mozilla VR team to prototype and experiment with WebVR. Having more contributors know A-Frame will give them a chance to get involved in one of the most exciting revolutions in the field of technology.

DATE & TIME:

April 21, 2017 – 1400 to 1800 Hours.

VENUE:

Nirma University, Ahmedabad

ATTENDEES: 60 Students

PERSONAL NOTE

Campus Clubs is a major part of our DNA since that’s not just a way to get us contributors but also, it helps regular college students get more and more exposure towards new technologies and platforms through which they can connect with people who have gone through it and have reached a level higher. These Campus Clubs help us recognize talent and get us new contributors, and if not that, we find community builders and rockstars which MozNirma club has in abundance. They work quite well, and have quite an understanding and a vision towards building a better future for those around them.

Let’s not get away with words(A note for me!)

A WebVR event with A-Frame is what we had planned and I’d prepared myself for a smashing event since the word I’d gotten from previous mentors who had payed them a visit before were pretty impressed by their infrastructure and their knowledge. A mentor even asked me to be well prepared because they ask a lot of questions, adn I stood there confused, thinking about what should i really expect!? When they(MozNirma) needed someone to get them started with WebVR activities and they contacted Mehul who asked me if I could and since I was free,  I went on with it!

IMG_9599

The Uber dropped me at Nirma University gate and there were already posters of TedX Nirma University which made me feel that the crowd I’ll be facing would definitely compare me with the level of what’s coming to them later on. Jugal, from the core team came out to the gate to receive me and their campus is mighty good and clean! I’ve been to Nirma before, but that was four years ago and it looked emptier then but obviously, they’ve improved and looked good!

I went in and met the team, and I found them a peppy lot who are curious and want to do something with the resources that they have at hand. We waited for the participants to complete their classes and come in to get settled and discussed their previous events, vision, journey of Mozilla and they seemed more than interested.

We were interrupted by sixty people, not really! But, yeah, when you have so many people waiting for you, you can’t really just focus on just a single conversation.

Infront of me, sixty students, pin drop silence, which I don’t like, but there it was. I started talking, and they sat there with disciplined and listening to me. I asked them a few questions about Mozilla and VR and AR, to check what they know and what not. I had spoken for about 25-30 minutes and they were listening to me silently, which I felt was awkward, and they didn’t. I don’t know why! Maybe it’s because I’ve worked with kids lately, and they are very very very interactive. they have such bizarre ideas, and they blurt them out feeling in no way that they will be embarrassed but these were college students who were so conscious to open up. So, I did what do, I called up a singer from the bunch and made everyone sing Closer by Chainsmokers. Why?

Cause why the heck not?

It’s a workshop for like-minded people who are here to work on new technology which is open-source, it’s not a class. Okay, it might’ve gotten weird at some point, but it was either really fun or they lied to me! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Back to the topic, we proceeded and got more into technology and VR and devices.

We went on and answered the following questions:

How these Devices work?

What all hardware’s involved?

What all software’s involved?

Where does A-Frame enter?

What is WebGL?

How do these work?

Why HTML+CSS?

And a lot more!

We had answered all the Whats and Whys but we had to come to the How? because that’s what we were there to do! To learn how make new scenes on WebVR! We went on to how we can make new scenes and make use of the objects we have and how to manipulate them to make something new and kickass!

While doing all-of-it, none of us realized that only 19 minutes had left. So, we stopped there and revised what we’d learned by asking question and distributed swags for every right answer, and well, for every try.

We ended the session on a great note, and a conversation with amazing group pictures!

It’s great to see so many enthusiastic new developers entering the Virtual realm and that’s how the community will grow, and that is the way it should be!

Signing off, Pranshu Khanna! 🙂

Links:

All the pictures on the Drive: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2Zb2r6fnY9XRl9tbEF1R09rc1E

Etherpad Link: https://public.etherpad-mozilla.org/p/WebVR_Camp_by_Mozilla_Gujarat

Rep’s Page Link: https://reps.mozilla.org/e/webvr-camp-by-moznirma-club/

My Mozillians Profile: https://mozillians.org/en-US/u/pransh15/

GoGo VEYG’17

Cross-posted on Mozilla Gujarat’s blog.

Hey there!

This particular blog is about our tiring and unexpected trip to Saffrony College’s Tech Fest, VEYG’17 as we were looking forward to get on with another Mozilla Activate event!

Here is the link where you can find more info: http://saffrony.ac.in/saffrony-tech-fest-veyg-2017/

I got a call from Mehul Patel on the 17th to check if I’m free on the 22nd since we’d discussed about increasing my involvement with the community-building and hence, he asked me to go to the Saffrony Institute of Technology and talk about Mozilla. I immediately agreed and it was for me and Moin Sir to go to Mehsana and spread awareness about us and build a platform for them to understand more and more about us and the community that we work in.

So, me and Moin Sir discussed the details and we were ready to give them an introduction about every field they could contribute in so that they could select one and start contributing in one or the other!

There were some last minute changes which led to the absence of Moin Sir and Sameer Bhatt, but we had Sumit Rajput and three other volunteers in our team. The team was:

  1. Pranshu Khanna
  2. Sumit Rajput
  3. Akshay Koshti
  4. Malav Shah
  5. Darshit Shah

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The Event Day

We decided to meet at the ST Bus Stand, Geeta Mandir at 8am and we did reach there but it turned out the bus was late. We discussed the proceedings there, and meanwhile the bus arrived. The bus ride went for another two hours in scorching heat and it was really hard to bare the heat!

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We reached there and it was a shocker to us that it looked more of a cultural fest really with Gujarati Pop songs playing all along and people dancing around.

We finally got to the stall and it wasn’t covered, so we had to move it under the tree-shade. The volunteers were good enough to actually agree standing there with us for a while which I felt was really good of them!

We met a few people and told them about Mozilla and invited them to the workshop we were going to host for them during the Tech Fest.

As people came along, we explained them about Mozilla and the contribution areas and how awareness is important and the need of Web Literacy from a community standpoint.

We later on went to the workshop and explained them in detail about Mozilla, and moreover, about:

  1. Web Literacy
  2. 21C Skills
  3. Web Compatibility
  4. Rust
  5. WebVR

This was all we could discuss in the two hours we were given, so we completed that and left for the tiring journey back to Ahmedabad. We stood all the way back to Ahmedabad and finally got into our autos where we could finally rest a bit by sitting.

This was all about our hot and tiring journey to the VEYG’17!

This trip made me realize how important is it to reach out to areas where people are trying to get out of their shell but they haven’t been able to.and once we get them started, they have the potential to thrive!

#GoGoZindabad

Mozilla at MakerFest ’17

Mozilla at MakerFest ’17

Cross-posted on Mozilla Gujarat’s blog.

A Brief Introduction of Maker Fest:

Maker Fest is the Indian continuation of Maker Faire hosted across America, Europe, Africa and Japan. Maker Faire, which launched in California in 2006, now hosts hundreds of thousands attendees. It is the amalgamation of festivals celebrating the innovators and an art show with booths for inventors, demonstrations, and workshops for attendees.

Maker Fest is about developing a great maker community where people can learn and share about making. Creators, artists and hobbyist across the country are invited to present their contemporary applications of ideas using the vast ocean of art, science and technology.

To know more, click here.

The Agenda:

  1. Introduction to Campus Clubs
  2. Introduction to WebVR
  3. Introduction to Rust
  4. Privacy Awareness
  5. What is OpenSource?
  6. What is Mozilla?

We all know that Mozilla appreciates the maker community as well as the others because it believes in a co-existential society where we all here to live together and grow which makes the presence of Mozilla at an event if such magnitude an important one. The event itself was pretty diverse as people from arts to science and technology, each and every one of them are on a single stage and so has to be the team from Mozilla, open and diverse.

A Brief Introduction of Mozilla Team:

  1. Mehul Patel
  2. Mansi Trivedi
  3. Vigneshwar Dhinakaran
  4. Tanay Pant
  5. Md Shabaz Alam
  6. Anubha Maneshwar
  7. Pranshu Khanna
  8. Rufus Chakravarthy Sharma
  9. Kamlesh Vilpura
  10. Ipsha Bhinodia
  11. Vishal Chavan
  12. Viral Parmar
  13. Mayur Patil

So the team gathered on the venue on the Sixth of January and each one of them introduced themselves as they cam into the hotel one by one from their flights, buses, trains or homes. It had been a long ride for each and one of them but all of them Mozillians were prepared to have work for and towards a common goal that is, to make people realize that the world is big enough for everyone to fit everyone in and we’re here to make it a better place.

The introductions were complete and the team started talking through the preparations and how we will proceed through the three-day period ahead of us and caught up on the details we were to emphasize on, the most. The sudden realization felt to the need of posters and that was it, the team started working right away! Got fresh, and thanks to the art work of Anubha Maneshwar, the resilience of Mansi Trivedi and coloring skills of Dhinakaran Vigneshwar, the team made hand-made covers in the hotel itself and were able to go and prep the stall later on.

The whole team was starving as most of them had skipped their lunches so, all of them were out to get some post-lunch. The team ordered Pav Bhaji(which had extra butter), Cheese Sandwich(which had extra cheese), Sev Puri(which the Maharashtra crowd didn’t find too spicy) and the coffee(which was too strong for a reason).

The team departed for the venue so as to each member of the team was excited to enjoy the inaugural proceedings, but it never really got to that! As soon as people saw the Mozilla boards going up, the team welcomed by a great crowd asking us about Open Source, Campus Clubs and everything. The whole team missed the inauguration ceremony due to the warm reception but ended up getting really tired with the overwhelming work each one of them had done through the day plus of course, the travel.

After the working part of the Day One ended, the locals Mansi, Mehul and Viral took them to a famous Ahmedabad Food Market, ManekChouk. The place is famous for various street food delicacies and the most famous dishes were ordered for them, Gwalia Dosa and the Chocolate Cheese Sandwich. The locals seemed fine after the dinner, but the rest of them were done with butter for the rest of their lives.

End of Day One.

Day Two.

The team reported at the venue, and before even setting up the crowd came in. Most of the team was busy setting up the stall while D. Vigneshwar handled the more technical crowd at the start, Mehul briefed the semi-technicals while Mansi approached the locals in Gujarati.

One such moment arrived when this kid dragged his other to the stall saying, “Mumma, Mozilla!” and she was stumped looking at her kid talking technology with our very own Mehul Patel. Check out a glimpse of it in the video below:

The stage was set, the crowd came pouring in and the knowledge was flowing through. These were the topics we discussed and the roles were taken on quickly by each and every one in the team:

Web Compact, Test Pilot, Innovation Tool-Kit, Web Privacy

Vineel, Mehul, Ipsha, Tanay, Viral, Rufus & Mayur derived into the other areas & explained the value of these activities to the visitors.

Anubha, Pranshu, & Kamlesh took the pictures and kept all of the community updated.

Campus Programs – Mansi did a great job in making people realize the need of a campus club as it’s an opportunity to learn and grow.

Rust –  D. Vigneshwer’s role was to be an advocate and an developer evangelist to the people who were interested in this blazingly fast and highly safe system programming language which has an potential to re-innovate the web!

WebVR – Shahbaz took up responsibility to give a WebVR demo, all of the visitors were interested to try it out and had an new experience of the web.

Privacy Month – Vishal spread the awareness about Privacy and wanted the people to understand the immediate need of data protection.

The day ended so fast that neither one of the team realized until they got hungry. We had some pretty interesting food stalls at the venue itself, and the team had something or the other their too as to try out what they had to offer but the main course was at the Gordhan Thaal, which offered a delicious Unlimited Thali which all of the team members enjoyed.

After a delicious dinner, the team decided to visit the Flower Show at the Riverfront, Ahmedabad as it’s been pretty famous and as each one of them reached, they all could see the crowd coming their way which only meant one thing, it was closed. The team got late, without even realizing that it’s now 10pm. No regrets! The team was at the riverfront and enjoyed each other’s company at the riverfront and took pictures and enjoyed Ahmedabad’s cool breeze.

End of Day Two.

Day Three.

While the Day Two was hectic, and that’s what the team expecting on the third day as well, but it turned out to be more fun than any of them had thought. Some of the members were late, but the rest of the team handled their positions as well as the chemistry had grown too strong to know about what the other one was talking about as well. The Day Three proceeded fine and each one of the team members went on to check out other stalls as well.

By this time we had nicknames for each other, having fun around each other and this was for the whole gang. We changed into our Mozilla Activate gear for the final day and clicked a lot of pictures to made a lot of memories. Each one of us may or may not be technically skilled but we have one thing in common i.e., passion for One Web which for all of us and that showed that however different we are, we sure are compatible for the same reason.

The Maker Fest is an interesting place where like-minded people meet together to interact and develop each other and to celebrate the Maker Spirit and that’s was what it was, in the air. Making stuff from Balloons to Pottery, and from drones to simple robots. It was the perfect stage to bring all of us together.

The day was to end and many had to return to their normal lives and that’s how the Dominoes kept falling after Vishal left the team for his place right after the event. The rest of team had dinner at Tomato’s and ice-cream at Creamistry while remembering the jokes from what had been the most eventful event of the year yet(it had only been 8 days! :P).

Here are the blog links:

  1. Experience at Maker Fest 17 by D. Vigneshwer.
  2. Journey to MAkeRfeSt by Rufus C. Sharma
  3. Mozilla at MakerFest ’17 by Pranshu Khanna

Link to the Pictures:

A Special thanks to the each and every one of the team member for the #Badass #Kickass fun we had.

It’s been quite an experience.

Signing off, Pranshu Khanna.

Gujarat’s First Maker Party!

Gujarat’s First Maker Party!

The Baroda Trio i.e., Dhaval, Miten and Me had been planning this since a long time but we just couldn’t find enough time from our schedules to pull this off since an event like this takes about a month at least to perfectly execute. Although, if you’ve read my previous blogs you’d know how I always say that we three have been planning this and that and yes, we always do but we can’t just pull it off really easily.

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A couple of months before the event there were discussions about the venues and the website and the swags and the budget, etc. I couldn’t participate and I was busy somewhere and I checked my phone and it said 300-something Telegram messages. I thought, what now? Is it about the re-structure? Or test pilot? But no, it was Gujarat’s first maker party and I was excited cause we’d been planning this since a long time and now it’s finally happening. We all participated and put in our suggestions and the day went on until we got our final venue.

 

I went off for a vacation to Delhi and Himachal, and I was out for a pretty long time. You can enjoy some moments from my trips too. 😀

When I came back(Major network issues feat. BSNL), I can only see messages of this is done and that is to be completed and stuff. I was done pretty fast and I cannot take any of the credit for the work they’d done cause the team worked really well and fast. I didn’t know how the days passed but what we thought, they did it.

Since they were far off ahead in their preps, I couldn’t participate and help and me entering to help now would’ve made no sense so I let it be and watched the build a Maker Party Gujarat website which is so cool! I had stuff and events of my own to handle so I moved on to that and promised to try and be there during the events.

 

The day had finally arrived, I tweeted(@pransh15) how I was excited for the Maker Party and even posted it on Snapchat(@pransh15). I took a BRTS and reached the Chandkheda GTU Campus in an hour only to find thousand of students clogging the gate and then and there I realized what i was told when i was sitting with two Mozilla Reps about 8-10 months ago, Rahul Talreja had said, “It has the potential to change the face of the coming generation if done right.” and he was right! I asked Dhaval after entering, how many people? He said 4500! I was shell-shocked! Whoa!

The events had started already and we all volunteers were in different workshops making sure that the proceedings were going fine and they were. The students seemed to enjoy every workshop whether it was WebCompact, Python, MozVR, Material Design. We didn’t have one single complaint from the students.

I couldn’t be there the next day as I had to be somewhere else and Mansi made sure that she made me feel guilty about not being there. Well, she succeeded in doing that!

 

Here are some Twitter posts from that day, enjoy!

 

If you’ve made it till here, you have a lot of patience!

Anyway, from this event I realized that we can make a big big difference with more such workshops because some people just need just one day to turn around their lives and that can happen for these students and even if one of them succeeds in his/her life, we win.

Signing off, Praanshu Khanna! 🙂

#TeachTheKids @ Varnama

#TeachTheKids @ Varnama

DESCRIPTION:

#TeachTheKids is an initiative which aims at educating school kids about the basics of Computers, Internet and other similar stuff, in a fun and interactive way. This is also mainly concentrated on small schools with fewer facilities. The scope of this could be extended by forming Webmaker School Clubs.

DATE & TIME:

March 21, 2016 – 9am to 12pm

VENUE:

Shree Seva Samaj Sharda Mandir, Varnama, Vadodara

ATTENDEES: 100-150 Students

PERSONAL NOTE

My family has been donating clothes, toys, etc. to kids on festivals since I was a kid and it’s a joy to watch them have those and the smile on their faces when they get it so it has been my goal on a personal level to contribute to the ones in need however I can because I know what not having the right resources mean. We’ve been brought up with a silver spoon if we compare ourselves to these poor kids who don’t have much options but to study in the same Government school where they have only one computer in the whole school, that too in the Principal’s office. This has been a motive for me, to contribute to this part of the society so that even if they mightn’t become great CEOs or anything, at least they won’t be left behind.

PREPARATIONS

So, we had been urging Miten to talk to the Principal of the school who apparently is his neighbor and could give us dates so that we could further process that to our college and get permission and plan things ahead and only a week ago we had decided that we’re going to do this, finally!

Me, Dhaval and Miten were so excited and were preparing all the content and watching videos on how to teach kids while entertaining them because it won’t be as easy to educate them then it is to adults because they have the prerequisites and these kids don’t. We prepared some content which had a few Presentations, a few Word Files and a few images to show them what we couldn’t bring or wasn’t available.

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We selected our team on the basis of enthusiasm shown by the new recruits and their interaction level,  on how open they are so that they could freely interact with the kids without hesitation. The Final Team was:

  1. Miten Kashiyani
  2. Pranshu Khanna
  3. Dhaval Joshi
  4. Aarti Tahiliani
  5. Shruti Chaturvedi
  6. Maitri Bhavsar
  7. Dharmesh Solanki
  8. Tatvagna Shah
  9. Ripunjay Patel

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We decided our final team by Friday and explained the content to them. We decided to take the students in groups because we planned classes for standards 6th to 9th and it wouldn’t be possible to teach them all at once because the school didn’t have such a big hall/auditorium which could fit these many students and we also wanted to make sure that every student gets attention and learns. So, the groups were:

6th and 7th: Miten, Aarti and Ripunjay

8th: Pranshu, Shruti and Dharmesh

9th: Dhaval, Maitri and Tatvagna

THE TEACHING DAY

The day had finally come! Me, Dhaval and the three girls met at the Bus Depot at around 8:15am and went on to hire an auto to take us to the village where we reached there by 8:40am. Meanwhile, we could spot our fellow Mozillians riding towards the destination. We reached and went straight to the Principal’s office to personally meet him and to discuss the agenda for the day, which was:

  1. Introduction to Computers
  2. Parts of a Computer
  3. What is Internet?
  4. Operating System
  5. Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

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The Principal went on to give instructions to the teachers while we discussed how we were going to manage the use of the Computer as there was only one and we had to make sure that they learn the basic computer and then could see the difference between a computer and laptop. He then called us outside where we saw all the students sitting in a particular order around where the seats were set. We were then asked to get seated as the Principal addressed the students the value of computers in future and asked them to learn well as they didn’t have the resources and the staff to teach what we were there to teach them. We then gave our introductions to the students in Gujarati/Hindi as it was a Gujarati Medium School and they didn’t understand much of English. The students were interactive and seemed pretty excited to learn something new.

 

We then distributed the students according to their classes and even the teams went on to their classes. We were in charge of the 8th standard, so we headed towards the 8th standard class to teach them some new things.

We started off with the basics of Computer, the ALU, CU, RAM, ROM, etc. and then went on to the parts of the computer and how the input and output devices work. We had a computer to point it out to them, so it was really helpful and then we moved on to, What is Internet? More than half of the class knew what is internet due to the smartphone culture. The students interacted well and were very keen to learn. The group I led had Shruti and Dharmesh in it, two excellent volunteers who were able to reach out to them when needed and even explained them bit by bit everything they needed to learn. Since I’m not too fluent in speaking Gujarati, they corrected me when I was wrong and were extremely helpful.

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After letting them know about the World Wide Web, we explained them how web addresses works and how do we connect to it. After that, we covered Operating Systems, since they need to know about working environments in order to be a smart consumer later on. The understanding of a topic such Operating systems enabled us to explain them about Files, Folders, Applications and Browsers. That was what we taught them in a nutshell.

After the completion of the discussed Agenda, we asked them a few questions and gave out swags and chocolates to the ones who answered. A girl who stood out of the crowd was, Parthvi who was extremely intelligent and knew half of it beforehand and we urged her to study harder so that she could chase her dreams someday, it’s inspiring really!

We wrapped up the event with a picture with the Principal and the school staff, and clicked a few selfies with the team which was followed by a Group Lunch in a Food Court nearby.

It’s funny how sometimes we forget the importance of education, only when you see someone who doesn’t have the resources you realize how good you had it. It was a successful event and an inspiring one. The team enjoyed, the kids enjoyed and the teachers were happy to see their students participate.

Doing Good Is a Part Of Our Code.

Signing off, Pranshu Khanna! 🙂