Afro Dino Hack

Organized by AfroFutures_UK
Camberwell Library, London
From Dec 14th 2018
To Dec 15th 2018
See the website


How many African dinosaurs can you name?

How many people know Spinosaurus was found in north Africa?

Did you know there’s a dinosaur whose name means ‘African hunter’?

Afro Dino hack aims to bring together techies, black history nerds, dinosaur geeks and Museum collections enthusiasts to find new ways of making the data in repositories like the Natural History Museum Data Portal more accessible. Whether through games, educational resources, improved functionality or interactive art, we want to help make African dinosaurs famous!

AfroFutures_UK in association with wildcard.js is proud to present the first Afro Dino Hack, an event where we can come together and make cool stuff happen using data and code. The event is open to folks of all skill levels.

Schedule of events


10am – Welcome

10:30am – Introduction to Afro Dino Hack

Meet the team!

What is a hackathon?

What is the data portal?

11am – Let’s get ideating

During this session, we will think of what we would like to make that is inspired by African dinosaurs. This is split into the following activities:

Sketchstorm: draw out as many ideas as you can

Share and describe: share your ideas with the people nearest to you, combine them and describe them to other groups

What have we thought of? We will take a look at the ideas and people can choose which ones they want to work on.

12am – What do people think?

1pm – Lunch

2pm – Let’s get testing

3pm – Let’s get prototyping

It’s time to try and make the idea a reality. Using the materials available, try and create the simplest version of the idea which a person could use.

4pm – Check in

Now it’s time to show each other what we’ve made so far and what we’re looking forward to doing tomorrow. This session will be hosted on google hangouts.

5pm – Hometime!



10am – Welcome

10:30am – What are we working on?

A recap on the data portal

Other data sources and tools you might want to use

11am – Choose your team!

There will be several ideas and challenges that people have started from the previous day. Choose which one you will want to work on. You don’t have to pick a team and you can even create a whole new idea to work on. Don’t forget to try and test it first!

Ideas and challenges presentations

11:30 – May the code begin!

1pm – Lunch break

2pm – How are we getting on?

A group check-in where people can give quick updates on how things are going.

3:30pm – Preparing your presentations

This is a good time to start thinking about what you will say about your project to the wider group.

4pm – Presentations

The moment we’ve all been waiting for… this is when you get to share what you’ve made and some ideas about how it can be developed. This session will be hosted on google hangouts.

5pm – Hometime!

Please note you are welcome to bring your own data sets provided it:

Pertains to aspects of black history

Is totally open access!

For any other enquiries, please get in touch to


Who are you?

We are AfroFutures_UK, a collective interested in exploring the intersections of race and technology through an AfroFuturist lens. Since 2015, we’ve hosted conferences and workshops, participated in panels and organised meetups where people can come together and imagine new futures. Our most recent events were based on coding and food production.

Where and when?

The hackathon will be held 14th-15th December at Camberwell library. It will be open to the public on both days from 10am.

Who can join?

The hackathon is open to everyone to join in, whether you’re a designer, coder, beginner or veteran, expert paleontologist or general enthusiast.

There will be activities for ages 6 up. All under 16s must be supervised by an adult.

Do I have to be there both days?

No, you are more than welcome to join for one or both or a mix of the two. Friday will be more of a design jam type session where will be coming up with ideas of projects we can work on.

Saturday is when the making and coding will start in earnest. You will get to choose which team you want to be part of and start contributing to the project.

I’m not in the UK. Can I still join?

Yes indeed! The data is freely available and we would also love to see you use data from your own Natural History Museum data portals.

We will have team check ins at the end of each day via skype and a final show and tell on Saturday. You can join in the conversations on twitter using #afrodinohack

We would recommend downloading the data a few days before the hackathon to get a feel for what it contains. Instructions for how this can be done are here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Is it only dinosaurs?

Although dinosaurs were the initial inspiration - because they’re amazing - we are open to people bringing their own open Museum data to the hackathon. However, we ask that the collection or the challenge they are trying to solve touches on some aspect of black history and we would prefer data to be focussed on collections of scientific interest.

Is it funded?

Not as of yet, but we’re pleased to report that the Natural History Museum data portal team will be a part of the event.

How much will it be?

The event is free, but people can ‘pay as they like’ for a ticket via eventbrite. All money collected will go towards AfroFutures_UK 2019 conference to which all participants will be invited and given an immediate spot to talk about their project.

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