Highlights from NZ Carpentry Connect 2023

NZ Carpentry Connect 2023 was originally scheduled to be held in a hybrid format on 14 February, with an in-person component hosted at the University of Waikato | Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato. Carpentry Connect is a local event to bring together trainers, helpers, maintainers and anyone interested in The Carpentries, which is a global community teaching researchers foundational coding and data science skills.

Due to the unforeseen onset of Cyclone Gabrielle, Carpentry Connect NZ was shifted to a fully virtual format. Undeterred by the curveballs thrown their way by the weather, more than 57 community members registered to be part of the event.

This year’s agenda was crafted by a team of local Carpentries leaders to ensure everyone is able to enjoy an exciting and engaging event. We warmly welcomed seasoned members of the Carpentries community in Aotearoa like the many instructors, coordinators and helpers, along with Carpentries enthusiasts who were new to the community.

The programme included talks from local leaders and members of the Carpentries core team, an interactive session on Carpentries lessons, informal discussion sessions and much more!

The notes for the full programme can be found here, but here are the highlights from this year’s gathering:

  • Attendees were welcomed to be part of the event with a mihi whakatau by Dr Charles Lee from the University of Waikato.
  • Alycia Crall and Dr Erin Becker from The Carpentries Core Team gave presentations on community development and the new tools and processes being rolled out as part of the curriculum development program.
  • Liz Stokes from ARDC talked us through the advantages of using DReSA as a platform to promote workshops and trainers across Australasia. Liz also spoke about the upcoming bimonthly community calls being hosted for Carpentries community members in New Zealand and Australia. Click here to know more details on this.
  • We had an interactive session where attendees were asked to make note of topics they wanted to chat about, with votes posted for each topic. Based on the popularity of topics, breakout sessions were created for the top four topics, which became an incredibly fun session for people to chat and reconnect with each other in small groups. The top four topics were
    • How to support newly trained Instructors to go on and deliver training
    • How to suggest major changes to an official lesson
    • Volunteer burnout
    • Misc chat / catching up​​
  • This year we were incredibly lucky to have Chulainn Sowerby (Victoria University of Wellington) and Simon Esling (Center for eResearch, University of Auckland) leading a panel discussion on Incorporating indigenous knowledge into the Carpentries workshops. Some important ideas around Wananga, Mātauranga Māori and the Carpentries style of teaching emerged from this discussion.
  • The event ended with a networking session where breakout rooms were created for attendees to move around and chat with each other.

If you were unable to attend the event, please feel free to go through the notes that list out some helpful resources on the topics discussed.

If you are new to the Carpentries community or are interested to learn more, we have multiple communication channels for keeping you posted on all things Carpentries in Aoteraoa New Zealand.

Here are some useful links:

  • Signing up for the au-nz slack channel in the Carpentries slack workspace
  • Sign up to community calls here
  • Email training@nesi.org.nz if you have any questions or are interested in attending the Carpentries instructor training in 2023.

Join the slack channel today to meet like-minded folks in your region or reach out to Nisha Ghatak for any Carpentries related queries. Kia kaha!