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Last year, we asked the question, “what happens when 25 middle school girls get together?” The answer was CO.LAB, presented by Open Source Stories. Since then Red Hat has hosted nearly 100 girls from underserved areas in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, for immersive experiences, underscoring our commitment to empowering the next-generation of open source leaders. Through this initiative, we introduced them to the principles of open source — and to a world of technology and collaboration. Students in our 2017 CO.LAB program built digital cameras from Raspberry Pi computers, then created a multi-city poetry installation — all using the power of collaboration.

In addition to the in-person experience, we aim to build a community for the students, including the educators and university partners who participate in CO.LAB. It's our commitment to help them curate longer-term resources through mentorships and other opportunities. With this goal in mind, this year we’re bringing the experience to Red Hat Summit with our former students now serving as the teachers. CO.LAB alumni will teach pre-registered attendees how to build a Raspberry Pi camera during our Poetry and Pi Workshop. Students and attendees will work together to bring a poem to life by capturing images around Red Hat Summit and San Francisco. Throughout Summit, attendees will curate these photos on a 17-foot-wide poetry installation in the Open Source Stories booth.

As a part of Red Hat’s Open Source Stories initiative, CO.LAB is an ongoing effort to create and share stories about how openness can be a catalyst for change. Red Hat has championed communities—both big and small—as we strive to build innovative technologies. With Open Source Stories, we are sharing what happens when people defy convention and say to the world: “Take this. Build on it. Make it better.”

Follow along with the CO.LAB initiative via and social media via #RedHatCOLAB and #opensourcestories. For more information about Open Source Stories, visit


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