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· 6 min read
Shawn Tabrizi

This is my first, but hopefully not my last Polkadot Treasury proposal.

Last weekend, I worked with IEEE Blockchain, Evolving Space, and University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez to set up an in person workshop to teach computer science and engineering students about Rust, Blockchain, and Polkadot.

I have lived in Puerto Rico for 3 years, and I have given a number of presentations around the island in that time, but I have never been able to work directly with UPR and the university students. Thanks to the help from the folks at Evolving Spaces, we were finally able to try that out.


The content of the workshop can be found here:

The majority of this material was made brand new for this workshop, working on top of existing education content from Web3 Foundation, the Polkadot Blockchain Academy, and my own personal knowledge. All of this content is open source and free to reuse as you like. I hope to see others run workshops using this content, and what evolves from it.

Here is a summary of the content we covered over the weekend:

Day 1

The first day will consist of lectures about cryptography, blockchain, and Rust, and will end with a Rust workshop.


  • The course starts with a very basic introduction to cryptography. This will cover:

    • Hash Functions
    • Hash Based Structures
    • Digital Signatures
  • Then we jump to a basic introduction of blockchains, covering:

    • Bitcoin
    • Ethereum
    • Blockchain Architecture
  • Finally, we will briefly touch on key concepts in Rust


  • Then users will really get their hands dirty building an entire blockchain-like state machine in Rust.

Day 2

In the second day, we will move our focus over to the Polkadot ecosystem, and build fully working blockchains using the Polkadot SDK.


  • The day starts with an introduction to Polkadot.
  • Then a look into the concept of shared security.
  • Next we learn about Substrate, the blockchain development framework provided by the Polkadot SDK.
  • Finally, we will briefly go over FRAME, which is a framework for building state machines for Substrate, very similar to what we designed in the workshop on day 1.


  • We will then use Substrate and FRAME to build our very first Proof of Existence Blockchain.
  • Then we will follow up with building an NFT application allowing you to buy and sell digital kitties.


Overall, the workshop was a success. Many students built not only their first Rust project, but also their first blockchain using Substrate and the Polkadot SDK.

Truthfully, I had hoped that students had more general Rust experience before coming to the class, but this was not the case. We need to better communicate that students should read some of the key chapters of the Rust Book before coming to the course to get the most out of the experience.

Another factor against us was the timing. December 2 - 3 was the last weekend we could host the workshop before the long break of the new year. This also happened to be the week before finals, so the attendance to the workshop was not as high as expected.

Another noteworthy item was the number of students that used a Windows computer. Everyone was able to get Substrate working in the end, but more visual documentation on setting up and working with Substrate on a WSL may be needed if we want to attract more university students.


I hope this is just the first of many workshops that I will host in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is a very unique place because it is already home to a lot of people in the crypto industry, however, not many of them are engineers or direct contributors. The engineering talent on the island is well known, so bringing this content directly to them can be a way to attract local engineers and investors to contribute to Polkadot.

Treasury Proposal

Below is the information required to cover costs of running this workshop, which was provided to students completely free of cost.

Reimbursement to Shawn Tabrizi

Gas$42.38A full tank used for driving from San Juan to Mayaguez and back
Food$70.59Pizza Hut - For Everyone - Day 1
Food$78.08Pizza Hut - For Everyone - Day 2
Work$1,4002 Days, 7 hours per day, $100 per hour

Food was provided to students during the lunch break. Receipts available upon request.

To write honestly, my teaching rate here of $100 per hour is mostly pulled from thin air. Usually I value my time more than this, but the turn out of this workshop was lower than expected. You might expect that future workshops will have a more premium salary if the impact is higher.

This working time is just the time spent lecturing in class, and does not include the time to create and prepare the workshop. This will come as a different proposal in the near future.

Reimbursement to Evolving Space

Edgar Cruz$50010 hours per day, $50 per hour
Cristian Melendez$50010 hours per day, $50 per hour

The facilities were provided free of charge by the University of Puerto Rico (thank you!), but organization, marketing, coordination, facilitation, and much more was handled by Edgar and Cristian from Evolving Space.

It is important to note that Evolving Space is a 501(c)(3) and 1101.01 non-profit organization, and is happy to accept donations to help facilitate more events like this one. You can find options to donate to the organization here.

Total Costs

Shawn Tabrizi$1591.05
Evolving Spaces$1000

Treasury Request

DOT/USD EMA30 on December 8, 2023: $5.382

USD to DOT: $2591.05 / $5.382 = ~482 DOT

Receiving Address: 12hAtDZJGt4of3m2GqZcUCVAjZPALfvPwvtUTFZPQUbdX1Ud

The receiving address is my public account. I will make sure that the appropriate amount of DOT tokens will be forwarded to Edgar and Cristian. You can keep track of my account history :)


If you have any questions, please feel free to reach to me using any of the social links below.