May 11, 2016

IBTS Hackatho Will Expand in 2017

From January 8-10, 2016, students from Western Australia, New York, and Philadelphia collaborated across the internet to solve global challenges using technology.  With the support of Microsoft, ILuka Resources as our host in Perth AU, and our US hosts, St. Joseph High School in Brooklyn and Penn Wood Middle School in Darby, PA., this program provided students an opportunity to explore coding HTML5 (the Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), two of the core technologies for building Web pages. HTML provides the structure of the page, CSS the (visual and aural) layout, for a variety of devices.

Registration ready to go! Thanks to Microsoft for some cool swag for the students!

Registration ready to go! Thanks to Microsoft for some cool swag for the students!

The goal of the program is to teach students how to work in teams and learn to code and solve problems on a global scale.  We live in a software world and this next generation of students entering the workforce will be asked to solve big problems that span the globe and to interact across time zones and cultures.  Students were provided with the opportunity to expand on their own knowledge independently with free learning resources like Khahn Academy and free developer tools like DreamSpark from Microsoft.

Students taking part in an important team-building activity

Students taking part in an important team-building activity

In attending the Hackahton students gained valuable skills that can be taken outside the classroom and aid them in entering the workforce later in life. For many students in poverty stricken communities learning to code and work with developer tools can support a brighter future for them and for their families.

Some important instruction with Dave Voyles, Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist.

Some important instruction with Dave Voyles, Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist.

WCTD has taken the best practices of the traditional hackathon concept, normally delivered for college and entrepreneur students, and melded it with our project based experiential learning and neuroscience research based teaching approach. Creating a new innovative experience for students ages 13-18, a critical age in terms of future career opportunities and the skills needed to be successful.

Lessons in device management and development from Chris Gomez

Lessons in device management and development from Chris Gomez

Like our other programs, the Hackathon is designed with a detailed playbook that allows schools, corporate sponsors and communities to deliver the program with our support. This first year was about laying the ground work for a concept that can span around the world, expanding each year to impact more communities and broaden our reach. The result will not only be about teaching students to code but to provide them the collaboration, critical thinking, and global communication skills that are necessary in today’s workforce and in the future. By offering the playbook we are allowing schools to expand their ability to support their students, teachers and community members. We know how difficult it can be for schools to support enrichment programs like ours that prepare students for the workforce, so we take the guess work out. We provide schools an opportunity to learn from industry experts through our partnerships and resources around the world.

Collaboration in Perth AU

Collaboration in Perth AU

Each year we will expand our presence around the nation and around the world through this program, creating a connected community both online and between school districts. With each passing year we will engage more countries to create partnerships so that students and teachers can collaborate and learn together.

Students and mentors putting learning into practice

Students and mentors putting learning into practice

A big thank you to our site leads who took a leap with us to "get uncomfortable to get comfortable" with a new and innovative approach to teaching students:  Kathy Bunce and the entire team from Iluka Resources, Jennifer Hoff, Chris Gomez and the entire team from Penn Wood Middle School, Matthew Mobijohn and Sister Joan Gallagher and the staff and volunteers from St. Joseph High School and all the students, parents and volunteers from South Huntington High School. We would also like to extend a special thank you to Dave Voyles and James Quick, and the entire Microsoft Australia team that supported this program and offered their time and attention to our students for the weekend!

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.