No hackers at this Hackathon

Students problem solving
Photo by Alex Costa

Students problem solving as part of the Hackathon event held by Durham College in SSB.

The first ever Hackathon took place at Durham College (DC). To be clear, there was no actual computer hacking taking place as the event was legitimate and hosted by the FastStart program here on campus, so no need to activate your firewalls.

Hackathon is a short, intense day where teams are given a focus, this years being sustainability, and try to solve the problem using computers and information from the academic background that each student brings forth from their related programs.

Entrepreneurship coordinator with FastStart at Durham College, Rebecca Holmes, organized the event and says it’s a perfect lead up to Enactus, an entrepreneurial club that will begin this fall at Durham College.

Holmes says, “we are focusing on today being an ideation hackathon where students are given a social innovation problem, and they have to come up with a creative innovative solution with a group of students that they’ve just been partnered with.”

Holmes says they’ve partnered with the sustainability office, headed by Tanya Roberts, since the event is being held a few days after Earth Day and because of the Living Green campaign here on campus.

Holmes says there were applicants from a variety of programs on campus, so they opted to keep Hackathon open to everyone, creating teams with various backgrounds. With roughly 60 participants registered, students were divided into groups of five or six and had a working day to complete their presentation.

“When I was looking at the applications there were several engineering students, but there were also some business and even students from the media, art and design programs who registered,” says Holmes.

With numerous advisors and industry reps in attendance, Hackathon is not only an exciting day filled with prizes, and $1,000 reward to the winners, but also a great opportunity to network and meet some new faces from across DC.