When we think about who’s driving innovation, we often think of places like Silicon Valley and people like Mark Zuckerberg. But innovation can come from anywhere, and anyone. Last weekend, Bergen County Academies hosted its third annual hackBCA hackathon. The best part? The hackathon was made by high school students, for high school students – no experience required.
Luminary Labs Senior Analyst and 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 member, Kate Machtiger, joined Cindy Gallop, Founder & CEO of If We Ran the World, and Tea Ho from DonorsChoose.Org on the judging panel. Chris Wanstrath, CEO of Github, and Josh Bancroft from Intel delivered the keynote speeches, inspiring students with stories of their first computer programming projects.
This year’s hackBCA winner was Fire in the Hole, a team that increased the safety and reliability of low-cost soldering irons by removing toxic fumes, controlling the iron’s temperature, and eliminating obstructive external equipment. The team’s focus on affordability, practicality, and usability was impressive, demonstrating how makers of any age can create an immediate impact.
Props to all of the hackBCA students for their hard work, and keep hacking!