The L.A. Youth Hack Day Challenge kicked off national Computer Science Education Week as part of Hour of Code—a massive movement to introduce 10 million students to computer science. Technovation partnered with the UCLA Community School, Hack for LA, and Girls in Tech LA to bring together over 80 volunteers, students, and mentors for the event. The event used Technovation curriculum to expose students to coding and entrepreneurship for the first time. After kicking off the new MIT App Inventor 2 tutorials with students, teams of 4 students created mobile app ideas and business. At the culmination of the day, teams presented a 2 minute pitch to judges to win prizes in the middle school and high school categories.
The theme of the challenge was to create an app that solves a problem in the community. There were 17 app ideas that teams pitched to the panel of judges and a room of their peers. Students rose to the occasion of learning to code, write a business plan, and create a fast pitch for their idea. All of the apps were great ideas and showed the potential of students creating solutions to local problems. First, second and third place teams from the middle school category and first and second place teams from the high school category were awarded prizes. The first place winner of the high school category, Girls in Motion, was a 9th grade team from the UCLA Community School. Girls in Motion presented an app idea called Anti-Procrastination App which would help girls complete homework and other assignments on time by setting up phone locks and time out until the tasks are completed. Great job ladies!
A huge thank you to the volunteers and students who attended! Also a thank you to the judges that volunteered their time: Patricia Dao, Managing Director, Girls in Tech Los Angeles and Tech Entrepreneur; Gohar Gharibyan, Developers, Target Media Partner Interactive; Snehal Vadvalkar, Developers, Target Media Partner Interactive; Charles Hwang, Managing Director, Tango Mobile. Prizes that were donated: mobile phones from Sprint, L.A. Clippers tickets, designer headphones by House of Marley, and a robotics workshop at Rolling Robots. Sponsors of the event included will.i.am’s i.am.angel Foundation, Sprint, Tango Mobile, the Los Angeles Staples Center, House of Marley, Rolling Robots and L.E.A.F. Leaders of Environmental Action Films.