Students members of iNVENTeam and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) are preparing to hold HackTJ, Jefferson’s first hackathon, on April 26-27.
A hackathon is an event where computer programmers and designers come together to create and code the best applications they can in 24 hours. The group that comes up with the most innovative application at the end of the hackathon wins.
HackTJ, sponsored by Facebook and Palantir, is open to anyone at Jefferson. The unique aspect of the event is that participants can use any programming language and application programming interface (API) they wish to. They are also free to build whatever kind of app they want.
“The goal for HackTJ is to gather students in order to spur creative thinking, promote the study of STEM subjects (particularly technology), encourage entrepreneurship and innovation and have fun doing so,” said senior Alex Sands, co-director of the event.
Those interested are to get into groups of three to five and are then encouraged to start coming up with an idea and practice with the tools they plan to use. However, they are not allowed to start coding until the beginning the event. Hack TJ is also designed to help students with their presentation skills, as the groups will need to make a three-minute presentation to the judges.
“We want students to apply their computer science and business skills to create something different—something that is useful, solves a problem and has an impact,” Sands said.
Over 180 students have currently signed up for the event.