A Learning Opportunity That Helps Others

The projects the students work on at the Hack-a-thons vary widely and depend on the nature of the nonprofit they are helping. They are generally informational or functional. To give you a better idea, we show two samples here.

Maddie’s Herd

App created by kids

The goal of this project was to provide information on Maddie and Primary Immune Deficiency Disorder. The information App told Maddie’s story, along with a video, as well as background data on this medical condition.

Woodbury Middle School & Regional School District 14 Hack-a-thon, Woodbury, CT — November 2016

Global Connections

Apps created by girl

This App is called Switching Lives and was designed to connect girls with their peers around the world. The motivation for this role-playing App is to give the users the opportunity to see what life looks like from someone else’s point of view.

Westover Hack-a-thon, Westover School, Middlebury, CT — April 2017

“It was a great day. The children were so focused and excited about what they were doing and how what they were doing demonstrated how you can use technology for good. If we can harness that positive energy in our youth today we can certainly hope to create lasting and positive change in the world.”

KEN MURDOCH
CIO from Save The Children, representing Newtown Kindness

Everyone Wins

Preteens

  • Have fun and make new friends
  • Get the good feelings of having made a difference
  • Understand better the world of computer science and its career potential
  • See how technology can help society
  • Have direct experience in creative thinking, teamwork, presenting
  • Overcome any fears or anxieties regarding computers

Mentors

  • Have fun while gaining valuable teaching experience
  • Apply classroom learning to real life situations
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Contribute to social good

Nonprofits

  • Present message to new audiences
  • Look at needs in a new way
  • Get prospective solutions to real needs and issues
  • Obtain free consulting on challenges and problems
  • Stimulate your ‘thinking outside of the box’
  • Expose and explain the reason for being to a broader market

Are you a nonprofit or mentor who would like to help out?

Typical Day

The day runs roughly from 8:00AM-3:30PM with two breaks and 1/2 hour for lunch.

8:00 – 8:30 AM
Mentors and nonprofits check- in

8:30 – 9:00 AM
Arrival & check-in team assignments
Students are seated at tables (either with friends or randomly) where they have the opportunity to talk with the Mentors and nonprofits before the program officially begins.

9:00 – 9:20 AM
Opening remarks – overview of the day
Information about App — Video about App Inventor (from Made with Code) which helps to demonstrate the power of coding for good.

9:20 – 11:00 AM

Identifying the problem and researching a solution
Learn about the nonprofit and its challenges. Walk through of Starbursting – the first step of the brainstorming process. Begin design. Snack break.

11:00 – 11:30 AM
Start coding — pair programming video check-in

11:30 – 12:00 PM
Lunch

12:00 – 1:15 PM
Coding continues
Afternoon break

1:25 – 3:00 PM
Implementing the solution
Code, upload App to google drive, save App to Device. Package the App, and prepare for Poster Presentations

3:00 – 3:30 PM
Poster presentation to family and friends

3:30 PM
Pickup and check-out