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The Student News Site of Encinal High School

Horizon News

The Student News Site of Encinal High School

Horizon News

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Coding craze: Island Hackathon inspires Alameda students

Coding+craze%3A+Island+Hackathon+inspires+Alameda+students
Justice Petersen

On September 16th, 80 high schoolers from all over Alameda gathered at Encinal’s media center to participate in a coding hackathon. The event, hosted by IslandHacks, exceeded expectations as both beginning and experienced developers participated in the 10 hour hackathon.

The hackathon was a culmination of months of planning by IslandHacks, a group of both Alameda and Encinal High School students who want to promote coding and the STEM field to students across Alameda. IslandHacks also secured funding from multiple sponsors such as Alameda Municipal Power, Bowlero, Topgolf, Alameda and Encinal High School, and their largest sponsor Exelixis.

“We are grateful to all of our sponsors and everyone who was able to make it out today. The Hackathon was an awesome experience, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and support of all of our organizers and sponsors,” said Encinal Senior and IslandHacks organizer Justice Petersen.

 

The hackathon started at 10 a.m. with complimentary breakfast. Participants then engaged in a digital escape room which promoted teamwork and brainstorming through a series of puzzles related to the Hackathon. After the digital escape room was completed, a tutorial was held showing the basics of creating a website via HTML for beginning coders while experienced coders workshopped ideas with each other in the Encinal College and Career Center. 

After a lunch of Panera sandwiches, participants started working on their hackathon projects from first person games to surveys. Everyone worked eagerly and student organizers happily helped everyone who ran into trouble throughout the event. In the afternoon, a career panel with representatives from 4 STEM companies gave students guidance on future career paths.

After dinner, various competitions loosened tension and allowed students to win tickets to a raffle held at the end of the event. The finale of the event involved Hackathon teams presenting their menagerie of projects through a large LCD monitor. Projects ranged from a 3D grappling hook game, a blob friend to talk to, and even a simplified operating system, all of which impressed many attendees and were all met to applause and intrigue as this was many students’ first foray into coding.

The 2023 IslandHacks team

 “We would want to put on a sequel to Island Hacks sometime in the spring,” IslandHacks Co-Founder and Alameda Senior Jacky Luo said.

Luo encouraged anyone who might have thought they were not qualified to attend.

 “50 percent of the people here have never made a website before and more than 50 percent of the people here are beginners.”

 At the end of the event, three projects were voted winners and participants took home a variety of prizes. All attendees were entered into a raffle with project winners, getting additional entries. Raffle prizes included custom made keyboards, smart speakers, top golf and bowling passes, and even a computer. All participants received a free T-shirt at the end of the event.

About the Contributors
Christopher Setera is a second year publication staff member. He is class of 2024 and originally joined Horizon thinking it was a CompSci class but stayed to follow a newfound passion for journalism and photography. Some hobbies he enjoys are video games, tennis, photography, and cooking. He is a broadcaster for the school’s radio program 96.1 KJTZ.
Justice Petersen, Managing and Web Editor
Justice is a second year publications staff member. He is class of 2024 and rejoined Horizon because he loves sharing his work with others and wants to make the schools journalism program as great as possible. At school, he is part of the water polo and swim team, he is president of Encinal’s Robotics Club, Vice President of the National Honor Society, a DECA member, and intern in the School Based Health Center.
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