Since January 1, 2018, stewardship of Hive Chicago has transitioned from Mozilla to a new local non-profit, the Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX). Please visit us at chicagolx/joinus to learn how you and your organization can join our growing community. The Hive is still the Hive.

Nov 11 2017

Hive Chicago at Mozfest 2017


In early fall a few Hive Chicago members were awarded small travel stipends to attend Mozfest 2017 in London. Mozfest is a three-day celebration and unconference that brings together hackers, data scientists, educators and internet aficionados. Hive Chicago was well represented, even a few students were able to attend this year. Some of the travelers share their experience, what they learn and some shareable resources. Enjoy!


Lesley Etherley- Contexture Media

Lesley immersing herself in augmented reality

MozFest 2017 had a great lineup! My personal interests led me to focus on Digital Inclusion and Web literacy sessions. There was a nice balance of tech innovation, media literacy, and open learning experiences. I slipped on an Augment Reality headset with holographic figurine overlays that really pulled at my sense of space and volume, much more than typical flat Augmented overlays. The highlight workshop for me was the Aquarius Project: The Hunt for meteorites in Lake Michigan, led by Adler Teens, Chris Bresky, really demystified communication pitches and rapid design prototyping. “Yay for Failure!” is now my mantra. Definitely sensory overload and I’m still unpacking my memory, but overall it was an amazing opportunity to connect with people doing amazing work and I’m definitely integrating these experiences into the work I’m doing in Chicago.

Nathalie Rayter- Adler Planetarium

2017 has been a whirlwind – every day, there’s so much information to sort through and keep up with – and as a youth-serving practitioner, I have been particularly concerned with building the skills and knowledge of my students so that they’re better equipped to consume, analyze, and create their own content. Thus, I was very grateful to be at this year’s MozFest. So many of the folks in attendance this year focused their inquiry, both in and out of sessions, on how to combat misinformation by educating and empowering web users. I went to a session about an open-source curriculum that aims to empower teens with the news and web literacy skills they need to become strong consumers, producers, and distributors of media and news online, and I actually hope to use pieces of it in Adler teen programs in the coming weeks. It was also great to get to attend a Shed session exploring how this stream of misinformation intersects with Mozilla’s Internet health categories and talk with people from across the globe about how approaches to addressing these challenges must be contextualized for discrete communities. Overall, I’m really looking forward to working with my team and others in Hive Chicago to take on some of the specific challenges we explored at MozFest here in our local contexts.


Katrina Pavlik- Communities in Schools of Chicago

I’m not a tech person; I’m a people person. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself since my adolescence when computer programming was proclaimed boring and structured and dumb. A few decades later, my tune has changed following this weekend’s 8th annual MozFest, a conference hosted by the Mozilla Foundation for coders and designers, artists and educators to discuss ways to sustain a healthy and open internet and use it for the good of our collective future. The three big ideas that really hit me over the weekend were: 1) We are all hackers 2) We all need to care about a healthy and open internet, and 3) We need all of us to make the future work for all of us.

See Katrina’s full share out here:


Marnie Boyd- Chicago State University


BE4ST Present during the science fair session

The 2017 Mozfest was an amazing opportunity for my students and me to internationally
connect with some of the most amazing STEM professionals.students presented their project on autonomous parallel parking. This project is a Ten80 Education Competition challenge that the students work on during the academic year at Chicago State University. Using a 1:10 scale rc car and the aurduino platform, the BE4ST students code the rc car to travel an oval shaped terrain and parallel park. BE4ST did an amazing job during the science fair session presenting the autonomous parallel parking project. The student enjoyed sharing their project with others and networking with professional. The team was well received by the Mozfest audience.


Sydney Williams- BE4ST Student

As a high student, my main goal is to become a world class engineer. Being giving the opportunity to not only showcase my team’s projects and research, but also learning and speaking to fascinating and talented people from all over the world is extremely humbling. We presented a version of this Ten80 project during the Science Fair event and I was shocked to see all of the people interested in programming language, environmental conservation, and advanced automotive technologies. This common interest has allowed me to speak to engineers, computer scientist, and even New York NSBE chairman.

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