Submitted – B. Adams
(Columbus) – On Friday, Circleville High School seniors Dalton Herron, Jarrett Quincel, and sophomore Cade Burton participated in the 3rd annual high school ‘Hackathon’ competition sponsored by Franklin University entitled “Coding for Community.”
The contest intends to provide participating students with a platform to further develop their computer programming skills to meet 21st century demands with a focus on coding, identifying communications strategies, and broadening their creative skills to address situations, problems or opportunities presented in their communities.
Team composition consists of up to four students and a teacher-advisor. While the kickoff for the event was held Friday, the teams have six weeks to produce a YouTube video that demonstrates the computer app they have developed to address a community issue or situation. Circleville High School is represented by Dalton Herron, Jarrett Quincel, and Cade Burton. The team advisor was CHS robotics teacher Joshua Thomas.
The three CHS students were among 177 participating in the competition, forming approximately 70 teams from 23 high schools in Central Ohio. In addition to a CHS team, teams from Columbus, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Worthington, Reynoldsburg, Grove City, Gahanna Lincoln, the Horizon Science Academy, the Reynoldsburg STEM Academy and others from the area competed for $5,000 in team cash prizes to be awarded to the top three teams. Sponsors for Franklin University’s Hackathon included Battelle, PK Financial Group Inc., Battle for Humanity, Nexosis, the Columbus Metropolitan Library, and Urbana University – a branch campus of Franklin University.
Team instructions highlight the theme of “Peace building and conflict resolution for a better community.” Todd Whittaker, department chair of Computer Science and Information at Franklin University explained the premise behind this year’s Hackathon is to help high school students realize their potential in solving problems through technology by developing computer apps and at the same time helping to build more peaceful communities.
Judging will be centered around the viability of the app and its propensity to be effective in resolving an issue or situation while building a more peaceful community. Some examples of app possibilities that teams are considering include issues such as addressing homelessness, drug addiction, gun control and violence.
The student designed and created apps will be judged by area technology professionals, academicians, and business men and women. In addition to the cash prizes for members of the top three teams in increments of $2,500, $1,500, and $1,000, there are special recognition prizes such as an award for the top ‘rookie’ team and special prize recipients selected by the teams. In addition the winning team will be allowed to direct a $1,000 charity gift made possible by Nexosis, a Columbus-based company that creates machine learning models to provide increased data information. Seniors participating in the CBus Student Hack are eligible for scholarship opportunities on either of the Franklin and Urbana campuses.
Final judging and awards will be held on April 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Columbus Metropolitan Library on 96 S. Grant Avenue in Columbus. Parents and interested educational professionals are welcome to attend. There is no admission fee, but seating will be limited due to the number of participating teams. Lunch is provided for the teams and advisors only.