Camp 2015: Session Ideas

Wikis > Camp 2015: Session Ideas
What would you ask hundreds of 24-year-olds?
Later this year, I will be surveying a diverse group of 500+ 24-year-olds and am looking for input on what you think I should ask them. I will definitely focus on Internet uses and skills, but am open to other areas as well. No need to worry about specific survey wording, I’m an expert at that and can work on the specifics later. I’m curious about what you think are topics I should explore especially as they relate to digital media uses (either specific digital media uses or behaviors/experiences that may result in/from digital media uses). About half of the group comes from families where neither parent has a college education, less than half are White.
Background: Since 2009, I have been surveying a group of over 500 young adults mainly located in Chicagoland. (They were all first-year students at UIC in ’08-09, which is how they ended up in my sample. I have no affiliation with UIC, I chose it because the student body is very diverse there, which is of interest to the study.)  I have collected lots of information about these young adults over the years, mainly about their Internet uses and skills (my main areas of research interest) and other social factors (health status, job status, etc.). I will start the session with some info about the group.

How Technology Saved Yo-Yos (and the World)

A talk on the application of technological advancements in the design of yo-yos (and other skill toys) and how it rejuvenated an industry; accompanied by a large collection of yo-yos and tops, plus period specific demonstrations.

Meditation practice

Hearing and knowing the benefits of meditation are well understood, but finding the time to maintain a regular practice of meditation is now the hard part. If you’re just curious about meditation or a meditator teacher, we would like to facilitate an open discussion on meditation practice and lead a group meditation sitting for the last 15 minutes.

George Aye and Sara Cantor Aye

Making in Schools: Lane Tech’s new lab, where are we now, and we can go. 

Many ORD Campers contributed both during the session last year and after on helping me figure out how in the world to build a 3000 sq ft maker lab at Lane Tech. With incredible support from the administration, PTSO and the Alumni Association, the entire space was gutted, and we built the Lane Tech Innovation and Creation Lab (with more help from students, friends and family) by the first day of school this year with classes running since. Lots of things have changed, been moved, tweaked, screwed up, broken, fixed, written, re-written, burned, cut, milled, etched, and more. In this session, I’d like to quickly report out on where things are and show some pictures and some of the amazing project kids have done in the space. After that, I’d like to dive further into making in schools, get further input on project ideas, community involvement both in and out of Lane, and anything else you all may come up with.

How technology saved the yo-yo  (and the world).

A walk through the history of the modern  yo-yo, with a large collection of yo-yos (and spintops) showing the technological improvements over the last generation, and period specific trick demonstrations illustrating how the improvements led to more entertaining, mind-blowing play.


Let’s talk Chocolate – from tree to bar – pods, beans, powder, butter, processing, tempering and standards of iD – what goes into making chocolate ….. try the predecessor parts to this heavenly food……& lots of playing around with chocolate.  – Gwendolyn Graff & Robert Kaye

 Artist and Entrepreneurial thought process session. As an artist and government art-o-crat (I run temporary projects, exhibitions and permanent commissions for the City of Chicago public art program) I would be happy to facilitate a very conversational session about the parallels and divergences of artistic and entrepreneurial thinking. My experience makes me aware that there is a lot of overlap but there are also places where they validly go off on their own tracks. Talking tangents I see are how successful artists are small businesspeople, artist residencies in businesses and government and what value artists bring to typically non-art professions, etc. One example is the Arts and Industry residency at the Kohler Factory in Wisconsin. Here in Chicago I am working on the 606/Bloomingdale Trail with a lead artist on the design team who has made significant contributions to how that place will manifest for generations to come. We’re going to have a “phenological” planting of flowering trees which in the spring will illustrate the Lake Effect by having a five-day bloom spread over the three miles of the trail – this is a rigorously researched manifestation of climate science visualized by an artist in response to the realization that the trail runs due east-west from the lake and thus offers an occasion to grow a permanent climate monitor not replicated anywhere else in this country, possibly the world. I think we can have a fruitful conversation.

-Nathan Mason

I’ll present a very brief history of how people have used pin-back buttons to express their feelings of the times since it’s invention in 1896 (and will bring my George Washington and Abraham Lincoln pre-buttons). Heavy in history and there will be some laughs (more like”laffs”) as well. I’ll bring the zine I made this year that this talk is based on, they’ll be free while supplies last! Also, feel free to bring your buttons if you want to talk about them or swap or whatever!  Thank you, Christen Carter.

How to Fix the “L,” Part 2. At ORDCamp 2013 I talked about my ingenious scheme to expand Chicago transit. I’ve now gotten funding and sponsorship from a downtown business group to prepare a white paper elaborating on this plan. A genius team has been assembled and work will start soon. The goal of this session, assuming I can elbow my way through the schedule board scrum, is to (a) explain the current plan and the rationale for it, both of which have evolved over the past two years, and (b) get feedback, ideas, and generous offers of assistance, up to and including 500 million dollars. -Ed Zotti

How to Fix Snoring. I’ll bring my collection of didgeridoos and lead a session on how sleep apnea and snoring can be cured by playing this Australian aboriginal instrument.  We’ll practice the key technique of “circular breathing” using straws and cups of water first, and then we’ll practice on real didgeridoos. -Ajay Goel

ORDcamp BOOZEtalk. At past ORDcamps we’ve had a conversation about liquor at the end of Saturday’s sessions. We’v covered scotch and bourbon, rye and mezcal, gin, and the effects of barrel aging on liquor. This year, we’re going to experiment with — on — cocktails. Introducing the ORD Fashioned Lab. The old fashioned is one of the simplest cocktails, and as such is one of the easiest to improvise with and experiment on. At its most basic, it’s liquor, sugar and bitters. And while bourbon is traditional, what might a mezcal old fashioned taste like? What if it’s honey instead of sugar? How do different bitters affect the flavor? Let’s find out. Feel free to bring contributions to experiment with. -Andrew Huff & Scott Robbin

 Making a Real “Chicago School of Data” Last fall, through the efforts of some ORDCampers, a very cool conference called “Chicago School of Data Days” was held. Participants were mostly folks from Chicago community organizations looking to develop data analysis skills. In the wrap-up, we raised the vision of an actual “school”—a series of workshops that would help really develop the skills that you can’t just pick up in a weekend of mostly panel-discussions. ORDCamp seems like an awesome place to talk logistics about getting knowledgeable instructors, appropriate space, funds to pay for it all. –Joe Germuska

Demonstrations (Science) (added by Bill Hammack What makes a good (science) demonstration? While working on a version of Micheal Faraday’s lectures The Chemical History of a Candle for YouTube I realized that most of the demonstrations shown to students in Freshman chemistry come from Faraday. So, bring demonstrations (I’ll show some of Faraday’s); I’ve been in contact with Mike Davis @MDScience who is interested. Also, I see we have a former magic demonstrator — Kevin Pang @pang — perhaps he might have insights into what works well.

After the Kickstarter: A discussion on what happens after your crowdfunding project has been funded. For anyone who’s been through the process, going through it now, planning on doing it soon, or just curious. Some random discussion points… (please add more here)

  • What happens during the weeks/months/years afterwards?
  • Going over budget, over schedule
  • Backers, pitchforks, supporters and advocates
  • How to manage your time, especially when you run it as a side-project
  • Manufacturing and fulfillment
  • Stress and depression
  • Getting help
  • Would you do it again? What would you do different next time?
  • Selling beyond the initial backers. Retail, movie distributors, galleries, licensing, etc
  • What if it can’t be done or you can no longer work on it? What are your options?
  • The 10,000 things you wished you known before you started
  • Financing beyond the campaign
  • Becoming a bonafide business
  • Sustainable growth

The Art & Science of Smoking Pigs. V7.0

Every year at ORD Camp, Liquid Pig BBQ  makes an appearance to celebrate the culture and tradition of BBQ. This year the Liquid Pig BBQ Joint will be open and serving:

Friday @ 11 pm till the meat runs out (Pulled Pork & Spareribs)
Saturday @ 5 pm during the “Art & Science of Smoking Pigs” session (Rib Tips for session attendees)
Saturday @ 11 pm till the meat runs out (DIY Pig Pull – Surgical Gloves Provided).

During Saturday’s  “Art & Science of Smoking Pigs Session”, we’ll discuss all things BBQ, while eating BBQ, after eating BBQ, and before eating more BBQ.

Campers are invited to bring in their own BBQ creations. Let us know what you’re specialty is, and our Meat Curators will help figure things out. Volunteers are always welcome to help out. email Moshe – innovator @ gmail dot com.

Musicians and purveyors of beer and spirits are also welcome to hang out and create some atmosphere 🙂


Moshe Tamssot & the Liquid Pig BBQ Crew

Cellular Automata: Make your own universe with some very simple math – Jim Blandy

… like, say, counting. Weird fundamental particles arise from physical laws; people catalog them and build mysterious machines; and devastatingly clever algorithms from the ’80s put an area measured in exapixels on my laptop. If you’ve played with CAs before, things have really changed. I’m hoping this presentation will be fun for a general audience; curiosity and a slight cyperpunk or psychedelic bent are probably prerequisites.

I’ve spent 2+ years of my life designing, manufacturing, and launching a coffeemaker, so yeah, I self-identify as a coffee person.

But I’m becoming tea-curious. And I know some of you out there know tea real well. Like obsessively.
So Saturday morning I’d like to set up a handful of Manual Coffeemakers (along with brewing tools for coffee and tea) to see if we can make some tea on this thing. (Don’t worry, I’ll also bring coffee beans so we can brew some of the black stuff too)
Bring yr favorite loose leaf teas! Bring yr favorite craft coffees! Bring any sort of coffee and tea making tools. We’ll brew some stuff!
-Craighton (@craightonberman)

DJing 101
Selection, Technique & Tools
To rock your next party

Jake Trussell

Character design 101
We’ll share our knowledge of character design and materials while we make awesome things and learn. Is there one way to draw a face? Do faces even need mouths, noses, or eyes? Why do subtle changes dramatically change the look and feel of a character? We’ll explore all of these things and more, likely with lasers, foam sheets, and simple face building blocks.
– Shawn Smith and Michael Una

Noise canceling social media
More and more I’m hearing of people deleting accounts, heavily curating their follower lists, and otherwise making smartphones dumb. I’d like this session to be an open forum to discuss this topic as creative people, entrepreneurs, technologists, etc. and not only try and understand why it’s happening, but also share tips and tricks (either via lesser-known native features or hacks) to cancel some of the noise in a thoughtful, intelligent way.
– Shawn Smith

How to Read The Daily Racing Form: An Exercise in Structured Data… and Gambling 
Learn how to decode the columns of numbers that make up the past-performances of thoroughbred horses listed in The Daily Racing Form. This may or may not make you into a real handicapper but it will demonstrate how sometimes the data is the interface and how a highly evolved system of visual conventions and typography can deliver a massive amount of information in a compact and usable format. Added bonus: We’ll try to pick a winner for Saturday’s Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream, a major Kentucky Derby prep race. And they’re off…
-Jim Coudal

Read the Room

Sandy Weisz and Andy Sabin have built a a social party game called Read the Room, and they’d love to test it out with you, and get your thoughts on how well it works and where we should take it from here. We’ve tested it about 5 times so far, and so far the responses range from “hey that was fun” to “i think you’ve really got something here” to unbridled uproarious laughter. Join us.



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