Cyber Talk Radio: School’s Out Hackathon

Bret Piatt, CTR Host and Julia Singer & Jason Salazar of SoHacks - Week 96 of Cyber Talk Radio

Show Summary

This past Saturday, July 28, episode 96 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Julia Singer & Jason Salazar of SoHacks, to discuss the upcoming School’s Out Hackathon (SoHacks) on Aug 3rd and 4th.

It’s summer time, so what better way to spend your time than at a 24 hour, free hacking event for SA students?! The School’s Out Hackathon will take place in the Entrepreneurship Department building at Trinity University this year on August 3-4th. Julia gives us the history of the Hackathon as it was launched in 2014 with 500 students - largest in state. Jason, who was on Cyber Talk Radio earlier this year talk about his experience as the first freshman class at Cast Tech High School, joined Julia to talk about the SoHacks event as he is interning with the program this summer. The event is coming up so they are still looking for students to register to attend, volunteers and mentors that have some experience coding. If you are a student in 9th-12th grade, they are looking for you to join in on the fun! You will need to bring your computer if you have one, however, SoHacks provides computers for those who don’t have one. The goal of the Hackathon is is less about breaking into code, but more about learning how to code, creating prototypes, and working with teams. A few examples of a past coding projects are a 3D robotic hand, a 3D periodic table and a website about inspirational women. The projects are a major team effort, but they present their creations at the end of the day and can win prizes. The event has over 28 sponsors and they are excited to have the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT) bringing artifacts and activities. Venture Lab will also host a class in addition to 18 different workshops for the students to attend. Food, prizes, t-shirts, swag will be given out all night long. There will even be Yoga breaks! If you haven’t registered for the event, check out the SoHacks website for more details!

In the second half of the show, Julia and Jason tell us a few success stories from SoHacks. One Hackathon students that created an education app, tweaked it, and applied to Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference). The student was accepted and won a prize for their app at WWDC! Another student changed career paths from graphic design to programming and ended up going to Georgia Tech to pursue their computer science career. The Hackathon has proven to be helpful to students in making decisions for the future. Everyone on the SoHacks team has a computer science skill base. CodeUp, a local coding bootcamp, has actually been a sponsor since the beginning. The students come back as volunteers and teach curriculum that’s not usually taught in high school. This can help further advance careers, training and education. The Hackathon isn’t like reading a textbook, but more of a hands-on learning experience, so people can choose based on our their own aptitudes. Some of the hands-on workshops will include drones and 3d printing classes with SAMSAT, USAA labs to teach virtual reality and augmented reality and a surprise class taught by Microsoft! (last year, they taught robotics). To listen to the episode replay to learn more SoHacks, why you should attend and how to register, go here or watch below.

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