[Linux-aus] [Grant Application] IWS-Hackathon 2017

Mike Imelfort michael.imelfort at gmail.com
Fri Oct 6 03:20:31 AEDT 2017

Thank you for considering this application for support for our
Education-based hackathon. We’re a very new group with lots of energy and a
mission to make teaching STEM easier for teachers. We welcome any questions.

*Project name *

The IWS Hackathon - http://iws-hackathon.org

* About the IWS *

IWS stands for “Intelligent Watering System”. Think of it as a Raspberry Pi
attached to a tap, but intelligently! Basic versions can measure how much
water is in the soil and how much water is being released, while more
advanced versions can measure rainfall, temperature and humidity. We've
created a 100% open source controller from readily available components so
the IWS is not only powerful, it's also inexpensive and repairable. It's
simple enough to be assembled on a breadboard by primary school students
but we’ve also designed a freely (as in speech) available PCB, ready for

The IWS was developed at Kimberley Park State School to teach primary
school students STEM concepts. Students can write new code for the IWS
using Scratch or python to modify it's functionality or add entirely new
sensors and create something awesome. Two of our organisers have spent the
past 12 months working with students in class and they’re having great
results. Now we’d like to help other schools make use of and improve on our

The version we'll be focusing on at the hackathon has been designed to
water potted plants or small gardens, but it's equally comfortable watering
much larger spaces. At Kimberley Park State School, the home of the IWS,
it's currently being used to water a very large vegetable garden.

* Aim of the project, including any key stages or milestones of the project

We need lesson plans that integrate well with existing curriculum
requirements and can easily be adapted for different classroom environments
and IWS setups. So we’ve invited primary and secondary school teachers
along to help us get started and hopefully join us on the journey.

Our goal is to start producing an open, freely available toolkit for the
IWS that includes teacher instruction, connections to the Australian
Curriculum, assessment and extension opportunities. We want to empower
participants to create a shared portfolio of ideas around a wide variety of
topics including where the IWS fits into the curriculum, what lesson plans
will look like, how assessment will work, how to physically install an IWS
in a classroom or school and how to extend students using the IWS.

Small teams of three or four teachers will work to create one or more
lesson plans that use the IWS, include links to the Australian Curriculum
and fit with a theme of work that students would typically work with
throughout the year (e.g. the water cycle). All lesson plans will be
uploaded to instructables (so anyone can use them) and any other supporting
material will be hosted on Github or on http://iws-hackathon.org.

Our immediate goals are hold the first IWS hackathon where we aim to:

  -  Bring like-minded people together to talk STEM, the IWS and share

  -  Create 6-8 lessons in a usable format that are freely available
online, are appropriate for integrating with common teaching themes and can
be modified and shared.

  -  Start building an online community that creates, collates and shares
IWS-related curriculum information, lesson plans, software, designs and

  -  Include teachers from public and private schools and ensure that
schools with socioeconomic / behavioural etc. challenges are well

After the event we’ll continue to work with teachers to develop more lesson
plans or help them build and install the IWS in their school. If the hack
proves successful we may hold it again with different participants as a way
of growing the online community.

* How we will know when we are successful *

We will measure our success against the stated goals of the project.

  -  We will work with between 25 and 30 teachers to develop teaching
materials including at least 6-8 lesson plans that are available online.

  -  We will structure the event so that all participants have multiple
opportunities to use digital tools to create, modify and share teaching
materials. Every participant will create and upload at least one online
artifact during the event.

  -  We are holding the event in Logan, so we will endeavour to include
schools whose students are representative of the communities that live in

  -  We will finalise organising all the code and schematics for the IWS
that have been developed in class and make them freely available under an
appropriate open source license before the event.

We will record data about our progress on these goals and include a summary
in our reports.

* Estimated cost breakdown of the project, including any materials,
projects or online services that are required to deliver the project. The
cost breakdown should include estimates of labour costs and/or professional
services. *

The Hackathon begins on Friday evening (November 3rd) and wraps up on
Saturday night. We are in the final stages of finalising the Venue with the
support of Logan City Council. There is no cost for the venue. We’re going
to limit the size of this first hack to roughly 30 people. We want to make
this a free event so we’re trying to keep it lean.

What we have:

  -  An assembled IWS that can be used to test with during the event

  -  A dedicated organising team
  -  Teachers who are willing to come to the hackathon

  -  A place to hold the event

  -  A website to host info about the hack and materials generated
throughout and after the event

What we still need:

  -  We need to feed our hackers: We need to supply some light food and
drinks on the Friday evening, brekkie and snacks on the Saturday and some
more food and drinks on Saturday night. The total cost will depend on the
number of participants but we’d like to keep the cost per person to under

  -  One or more IWS controllers to give away to attending schools: We can
buy the parts to build one IWS controller + one ball valve + one moisture
sensor + one light sensor + one 12VDC power supply and some other cables
for between $100 and $150 depending on the supplier and the amount
purchased. The largest single expense is the valve coming in at about $50.
Anyone that want’s to use the IWS would need to supply their own Raspberry
Pi and all the hose parts that attach to the valve. We are currently
approaching some suppliers to see if we can get them to sponsor us with a
discount or some freebies but we will need to pay some amount. We believe
it’s very important to get the IWS into the hands of the teachers that come
to the hack so that they can get it set up ASAP and use it to test, extend
and develop new lessons. Depending on how many we can get together we may
give them out as prizes or one to each school whose teachers attend up to
about 8-10 units in total.

  -  Stationary including post it notes / butchers paper / pens. This
should cost no more than $70.

How LA can help:

We’d like to ask you to consider three possible grant amounts ranging from
the minimum amount that would be needed to run the proposed event, up to an
amount that would allow us to run the event comfortably.

$1000 would be split as $400 to help with catering + $600 (4 IWS
controllers to give away)

$1600 would be split as $400 to help with catering + $1200 (8 IWS
controllers to give away)

$2170 would be split as $900 to help with catering + $1200 (8 IWS
controllers to give away) + $70 for stationary.

Of course, we’re happy to hear any ideas you may have about how to
structure or split amounts. We would also appreciate any structural support
LA could offer such as helping us to raise invoices to other potential
sponsors etc. Open Knowledge does this for HealthHack and it is a lifesaver.

* The project team *

Dr Mike Imelfort

Mike has a PhD in Bioinformatics and works as a data scientist for a
biotech startup in the genome sequencing space. He's an open data and
Hackathon enthusiast and active member of the Brisbane tech community. Mike
is passionate about making technology available to diverse groups of
people. He’s produced a number of open source bioinformatics tools (mainly
GPL) which are available on github: https://github.com/minillinim and
https://github.com/ecogenomics. Mike has been a local and national
organiser for HealthHack (http://healthhack.com.au) and served as the lead
national organiser for HealthHack 2016 which was held in Brisbane, Sydney,
Melbourne, Perth and Canberra. Mike is also the President of the the
Kimberley Park P&C Association.

Mr Andrew Kudzius

Andrew is passionate about using his extensive electrical and mechanical
engineering background to educate students and help provide real world
solutions for current and future problems. Andrew is the lead designer of
the IWS and volunteers at Kimberley Park State School teaching students
coding and electronics.

Ms Bridgette Bird

Bridgette is a teacher at Kimberley Park State School providing accelerated
learning opportunities for students in coding, advanced science,
engineering and mathematics in a STEM program of excellence. Bridgette is
passionate about engaging students in STEM activities that are connected to
real-world issues, collaborative and offer design and solution processes.

* Person responsible for project *

Dr Mike Imelfort will be responsible for this project and is more than
happy to provide a detailed report on the outcomes of the actual event as
well as provide updates on how the IWS community project is progressing.
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