Drupal Day for the Next Generation in Belarus

Blog author Svetlana Ermakovich works with Drupal and is active in the community in Minsk, Belarus.

On November 15, for the first time in the Ostrovsky child's library in Minsk, the Drupal Day for schoolboys was held. The youth organization "Falanster" introduced an open-source system to visitors and trained them to work with it.

The event started at 15:00 and those interested in studying Drupal filled the audience. In the small room, 8-9 operational machines had pre-installed XAMPP for CMS Drupal on them (512MB RAM could considerably slow down installation during the practice).

Drupal Minsk

About 20 people took part. There were fifth and sixth graders from the programming hobby group with a teacher, some senior boys and some who have already finished school. They were of varying knowledge levels: the younger boys didn't know anything about the content control system and were studying only flash, while some older students had already tried working with either Drupal or some other CMS. And some willingly wanted to ask their own Drupal questions.

The host presented the 3-hour event plan: a short presentation about "Falanster", theoretical and practical parts. A brief presentation of the organization emphasized current and latest projects.


Then followed the information about open source software with Drupal as an example with Drupal-based sites. In the main theoretical part, the Drupal installation process from the very beginning was shown: deployment of the system, examination of site base units and work on them. The participants even got interested in the possibility of making Russian localization for their own site.

By 16:00 we started practice. Everyone who brought their own laptops started installing Drupal on them and others used the media-room's computers. Then those who were ready to practice were divided into groups in order to work more personally. The participants were to develop their own site and start building it.


The majority of attendees were very active: everyone strived to install all the programs quickly and solve the emerging mistakes on the spot. The Falanster team was very busy: everybody needed help or tips. They were learning Drupal rapidly.

By 18:00 we started to sum up this meeting and estimated the day's Drupal-work:
The teacher of the programming hobby group studied minimal basis of adding pictures to the site and made it in an indefinite amount. The librarian did some work with views and began building a site about foxes, some senior boys and students absorbed in theme-making and not only they designed their original themes, but also began replacing several elements with their own.

During the Drupal-day we held a competition: what is the connection between Drupal and Linux? What is cache? What should we do if something goes wrong with our site? What are the most difficult words beginning with "T"? The guys couldn't even put their hands down, they were answering correctly, shouting and interrupting each other. Correct answers earned Drupal notebooks and stickers. Some of them were immediately stuck on their laptops. And in the end of the competition, the programming hobby group got the best prize - the book "Drupal 7" from kv.by.


"The Drupal-day was really wonderful: we studied the theory of the program for the start and then we managed to build our own site with our own hands (of course under the control of the experienced users)! This event gave us a great possibility of starting our progress in this sphere of internet technologies." - Ilya, The BSU faculty of applied mathematics and informatics, first-year student.

Now the seed has been planted and hopefully it will spread to other students so they will all study the open-source system from their youth!


Such trainings are good chance for the students to determine their future way.
Great job, guys! Keep it up!