HacKid teaches hacking to kids

July 13, 2010 | 10:04

Tags: #children #hack #hacker #hacking #kids

Companies: #hackid

Hacker conferences - where people learn to take apart, modify, and hopefully understand technology at a fundamental level - aren't anything new, the HacKid conference aims to take things to a new level by becoming the first such event aimed at children.

As announced over on Infoworld by one of the event's contributors, the first HacKid event - which takes place in Cambridge, Massachusetts in October - is the result of Chris Holf, the director of cloud and virtualisation solutions as Cisco, attending the Source Boston conference with his kids and finding it "dry and corporate."

Unlike events such as Defcon - which concentrate more on the modern, corrupted meaning of 'hacker' as one who bypasses security both physical and virtual and gains unauthorised access to systems - HacKid will concentrate on engaging kids to learn programming skills with beginner-level languages such as MIT's Scratch, along with sessions demonstrating the marvellous things that can be achieved with robotics including Lego Mindstorm exercises.

Along with these, some more 'traditionally' kid-friendly topics will be on offer, including Internet safety sessions, physical defense workshops, and lessons on how to deal with on-line bullying. There'll also be gaming competitions for brushing up on the all-important reaction times and hand-eye coordination.

The first event will take place on the 8th and 9th of October at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Centre. More information is available on the event's website.

Do you think that a 'hacking' conference aimed specifically at children is a good idea, or should their parents just ship them off to Defcon to learn some serious skills? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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