Hackathon at the Library

On Sunday March 12, the Library and the Wilcox High School Programming Club hosted its first 12 hour hackathon, SCHACKS. The content of this event was organized entirely by the WHS students. They also worked the whole 14 hour day and recruited the judges.

Despite the 8:00 a.m. start time, made even earlier because of daylight savings, thirty teens showed up ready to program and code.

Eight teams were given the choice of two specific challenge prompts and an open topic. Challenge #1 focused on creating an online resource to combat cyberbullying.

Challenge #2 focused on creating an app or website that would encourage the use of our Library’s resources.

A software engineer from Oracle, a Google programmer and AP computer science teacher from Wilcox, and another Wilcox CS teacher acted as judges. Gift cards were given out as prizes.

Overall Winner: MOUZE
A team of two 14 year old boys created an app that turns a smartphone into a wireless mouse. They used their iPhone mouse during their presentation to demonstrate the app. Seemed that they had a problem with their original mouse and came up with a solution and project for the hackathon at the same time.

Challenge #1 Winner: CHANGE
A team of three high school girls created an impressive webpage to fight and bring awareness to cyberbullying.

Challenge #2 Winner: RentIt
A team of two high school boys created an app that allows users to rent books that the Library doesn’t readily have available. Integrating the Library’s catalog, Google Maps, and accounts for users, this app allows readers to find a needed book close to their location and without having to buy it. It also allows readers to rent out their books…for the right price, of course.

Even though it was a long day, it was an awesome event. The Programming Club members acted as mentors trouble shooting and helping with problems, Charity’s husband, Scott, was also here as an adult mentor, teens happily ate and snacked on food all day long, and proud parents watched the presentations. They worked hard and lots of great ideas were presented. It was really inspiring to see so many teens being creative and creating. Now that this 12 hour hackathon is in the books, a 24 hour event is our goal.

Thank you to the Yahoo Employee Foundation for supporting this event.

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