[Linux-aus] [Grant Application] Kids Tracks at BuzzConf

Jonathan Woithe jwoithe at just42.net
Sat Sep 23 09:47:02 AEST 2017

On Sat, Sep 23, 2017 at 01:22:39AM +1000, Russell Coker via linux-aus wrote:
> On Friday, 22 September 2017 10:37:22 AM AEST Noel Butler via linux-aus wrote:
> > Taking into consideration all the new info, I support this grant, for
> > the 5K. 
> I agree in principle.  Sponsoring things that teach kids about technology is a 
> good thing.  Sponsoring such educational events for kids that are only mostly-
> free is OK as long as there is a good amount of free content.  An event that 
> has Scratch, electronics, and Minecraft isn't tainted because of Minecraft 
> being involved.  But an assurance that they won't say "now that Linux 
> Australia has given us money we can buy more Minecraft licenses" would be 
> good.
> I haven't read about this enough to be able to confidently endorse the grant.  
> But provided that all the other usual criteria for grants are met I think that 
> in concept this sounds really good.  Also I'm not specifically supporting $5K 
> as the amount.  If $5K is determined to be necessary to achieve the goals of 
> educating kids and if there is a suitable number of kids then that could be 
> reasonable.
> Hypothetically speaking if there were only 10 kids involved then at $500 each 
> it would not be good value for money.  But if there were 50+ kids then $100 
> each might be reasonable, if there were 100+ then I would endorse it.

I agree with Russell's thoughts.  The concept of assisting these workshops
does appear to involve mostly open materials and as such it looks to be
consistent with LA's guidelines.  As to what amount should be offered, I
think that requires a little more thought.

As Russell suggested, having some idea of the number of kids who might be
involved in the activities sponsored by LA would make it easier to determine
an appropriate amount to be offered.

I like the idea that LA's money should not effectively go towards the
purchase of closed products, although this is not an entirely
straight-forward condition to enforce.  If a grant from LA allows the
organisers to cover the cost of the open materials required by the workshop
it does effectively free up funds obtained from other sources for other
things - which might be proprietary.  What is probably easier is to require
that the LA funds be spent specifically on open technologies, which can be
verified as part of the reporting process.

For any event, if there is a shortage of funds then the limited amount
available must be split amongst the required purchases.  In the case of
these buzzconf workshops this could mean that open technologies miss out or
are skimped on due to lack of funds.  While LA can't dictate how an external
organisation allocates money generally, a grant to be put towards open
technology expenses would at least guarantee that the open components are
fully funded regardless of what other money was available to the organisers.

This could mean (to pick up on Russell's example) that a grant from LA
allows the organisers to purchase more minecraft licences than they
otherwise might have.  However, it would *also* mean that the open
technologies were fully funded, which might not be possible without a LA


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