Last Saturday, we hosted Tanglin's first ever hackathon 'Ready.Set.Hack', with over 60 participants, mentors and volunteers. The event provided young computer scientists with an opportunity to collaborate, code, build a product and then present their solution to a panel of judges.
A group of Year 12 students, Roshni (Team Leader), Aleksander (Tech Manager), Ben (Tech Support) and Kae-Rene (Graphics Designer), proposed the idea of a hackathon to the Computer Science (CS) department. With the CS department's support, they engaged guest speakers and mentors from Crypto Currency Exchange (COSS.io), Google, IBM, NUS and Quintain Analytics.
Below is Roshni's account of the day:
During the week leading up to the event, we ran some crash course coding sessions in various languages to help inspire students with potential languages they could use on the day.
On the day, students were challenged with coming up with a product that defines what the future within the school will be. They were split into two divisions – Juniors (11-14 years) and Seniors (15-17 years), with both divisions being equally competitive!
There were also several inspiring talks, engaging workshops and interactive sessions. These included, Artificial Intelligence talk, Scratch workshop, and a Python Pokemon Interactive course.
At the end of the day, each team was given five minutes to advertise and share their product. Students were judged on their presentation, interface, code, creativity and innovation, and usefulness and relation to theme.
Henry Simpson, Head of Technology at Singapore based COSS.io, said: "With a school of Tanglin's reputation, I had some pretty high expectations for the students' skills during this hackathon. Not only was I impressed by the students' technical skills, but the collaboration and teamwork shown was outstanding. The final presentations were excellent, and the students' humorous anecdotes when recounting the challenges they encountered, reflected the enjoyment of the day. When Kimberly and David explained the whole event was student led, I was again really impressed. These events don't just happen, a lot of work is required behind the scenes. The facilities were great, the choice of topic was excellent, in fact, it was better than Hackathons I've seen at large multinational companies!"
As a team, we were really impressed with some of the programmes created and enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm of the participants. As computer scientists we love problem-solving and helping others to get a piece of code to work, not only put a smile on their faces, but it was a gratifying experience for us too.Aryan, Year 9 commented: "This was the single best computing event I have ever participated in."
Thank you to everyone involved and well done to the winners, Team Creators in Junior School and Team Praanots in Senior School. Students learnt new skills, met aspiring computer scientists and interacted with industry professionals. We can't wait to run our next hackathon!