As higher education institutions are finding that hosting hackathons are a great way to connect computer programming to students, high schools are beginning to do the same.
On Jan. 25, Central York High School’s iTeam held its fourth annual hackathon, a 12-hour programing contest in which participants were challenged to create an application of their choice relating to the theme “time.”
Applications were then to be judged on the following criteria: creativity, interface design, program design, usefulness and relation to topic.
In addition to competing, participants were also encouraged to attend student-run technology seminars and participate in gaming tournaments.
“Even if they don’t want to compete, [participants] may just use the time to learn. So we hope that anyone who participates to any degree gains or improves their love of programming,” said Debbie Bieber, iTeam advisor.
The pool of competition participants was incredibly diverse— a group of Girls Who Code members from Harrisburg and Hershey, Dallastown Area High School’s CyberPatriot Team and even a group of frequent hackathon-goers hailing all the way from Princeton, NJ.
Aarav Solanki, a part of the winning group at Central York High School’s hackathon, had attended seven hackathon competitions, mostly at colleges, prior to his win at Central.
His group’s winning application allows people to collaborate with a team of members in a workplace.
“For example, if you’re trying to work on a project with a group or team, you can see what everyone else is doing and you can see how you can minimize the amount of time it takes to work on that project,” said Solanki.
Despite having attended many other hackathons in the past, Solanki describes what makes Central’s hackathon different.
“It’s better in it’s own way. There’s less people, so there are less distractions. It’s just really fun to code in this environment.”
To learn more about Central York’s hackathon, watch Max Reeder’s video coverage of the event.