[hackerspaces] Children in hackerspaces.

elmar lecher mc.fly at ramdrive.org
Wed Feb 3 13:06:50 CET 2010


I can only speak for the ccc hamburg. This is open for 23 years now 
somehow - in fact we are moving right now to a newer bigger space - and 
we have some experience with under age people here. Under age is 18 most 
likely in germany.

The youngest frequent visitor here is 13. He was brought by his dad, 
which is a coder to show the kid a cool place to hang around and not 
play World of Warcraft all day.

Well, i personally think he did right.

We also have a projekt called "Chaos macht Schule" (Chaos doing school) 
where we go out to schools and talk to teachers, parents and pupils 
about $topics (there are a lot of topics to talk about).

Some of them then show up at our space.

I personally think that you have to attract the young ones for the 
organisation to not grow old and die.

Hackers tend to go away after time due to this marry / child thingie. 
Sometimes when people promise to come back they also say things like 
"real live", "responseability" and other stuff. Usually they stop paying 
after around 2 years and never come back.

Get used to it. If you want to have your space running you need to get 
used to:
* handle things to younger people to let them do things and learn
   about that
* accept that you grow older
* accept that the young ones will make mistakes and therefore
   learn about it.

If you think you have liability issues you should not whine on this list 
but talk to a lawyer how to construct your legal person in a way that 
that can get avoided. Some note under age people and their parents need 
to sign. (glad we dont need to do this.)

The problem i am having with this topic is that the subject is about 
children. Most likely the real live issue is under age people who are 
far away from being children. I do think most of them come around 16 to 
the hackerspaces.

You should welcome them.

mc.fly ...

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