On May 27, TriValley Coder Dojo held our first Scratch Hackathon!
Written by: Kristin Goedert
Photos: Kristin Goedert
TriV wanted to offer our youth members the experience of participating in a Hackathon event, and all of the learning opportunities that surround a hackathon. Although hackathons are typically only available to teens and adults with advanced coding skills, ours was open to coders from the age of 5 to 17 and at all skill levels. The event focuses on building skills in teamwork, coding, and presentation, and although recognition was awarded to the top performers, the focus was on fun.
Coders arrived bright and early and the action got started at 9:00 am. Each team of two participants was challenged to create a game or activity that required user interaction and educated the player on a topic or facts. Novice coders and coders aged 9 or younger could use a tutorial, but advanced coders aged 10 and up had to build an original program- quite a task! Everyone took their projects in stride, and some great work was done.
The competition didn’t end there, however. Coders were evaluated not only on programming skills, but also on team skills like introducing themselves, planning projects together, sharing in decision making, and learning the names of adult mentors and volunteers, and presentation skills like practicing their presentation and helping with others’ presentations.
We had so many great projects! Winners were awarded based on the evaluations, and the top three were shared with the group.
The first team offered a quiz game that taught about different types of falcons and tested knowledge with an interactive multiple choice quiz. Answers to the quiz questions were entered using a touchpad built by the coding team using a Makey Makey and play dough- very innovative!
The next team went in a different direction and taught us about what plants need to thrive through a game that required users to jump from place to place collecting earth, oxygen, water, fertilizer and sunshine to bring a neglected houseplant back to life. Success was indicated by a bloom!
The final presenter offered an interactive game called “Do You Want To Be A Millionaire” where questions about nutrition and math were asked of the audience. Correct answers were celebrated with a smile from a face at the bottom of the screen, but incorrect ones got a frown. In the end, we were not millionaires.
Our day ended with the long-awaited raffle. Participants were awarded raffle tickets based on their evaluation scores, and everyone had fun choosing which items they wanted to put their tickets toward and discussing the best raffle winning tactics- put your tickets in the bags for things that you really want, or go for the items with fewer tickets in their bags? All of the winners were happy regardless!
Thank you to all of the mentors who offered advice and helped our young coders work through questions and issues!
Thank you to the volunteers who helped to set up and break down, checked people in, kept us well fed, and made sure that everyone got a gift bag!
Thank you to the donors who gave directly to the club and donors from the East Bay Gives Giving Day- your donations made the Hackathon possible.
Thank you to everyone who donated the great prizes for our coders, generating a great deal of excitement and dedication to hard work!
Thank you to Zoho for offering us the wonderful space to hold our event in.
And especially, thank you to all of our young coders, who worked very hard and made the hackathon extra fun!
TriV Scratch Hackathon Gratitude Page
Visit this page to see a detailed list of all Hackathon contributors
Other TriV Posts In The Hackathon Series