Dhat Stone High Tech Learning Academy in partnership with Priority Housing Corporation concluded its first ever Hackathon competition in the City of Compton, California Saturday, February 20th 2016. The three first place winners presented their app idea to a panel of 8 judges. The judges looked for technical complexity combined with innovation and creativity.
During the course of the competition, participants created a strong camaraderie and collaboration with one another. While the hackathon venue was not a large auditorium like you would see at Ivy League institutions, where mostly white males compete for start-up money to build their software ideas. The Dhat Stone Academy contest was located at a motel in the City of Compton which was once a place of prostitution, crime, and drugs.
The hackers were made up of local Black and Latino kids in the neighborhood who had never been exposed to a coding hackathon before. The young participants were genuinely interested in the app ideas that they were creating, and were eager to learn more about coding. The young hackers were given development pointers from Maryam Moslemi Naeini a developer from Salesforce, and Chris Chambers, a Computer Science Consultant from UCLA.
The Compton Youth of Color Hackathon emphasized the importance of creating a mobile app or website that solves some social problem, be it family, community, or policing in the neighborhood. The participants were formed into teams and had one hour in which to complete their app idea. During the contest the participants went through three stages: Entry, Idea Development, and Presentation.
During the presentation, the team submitted a pitch outlining and describing the software application they developed for a mobile device, a personal computer or any other software platform available to consumers.
First place was awarded to Esmeralda Nava, Lorriena Barrs, and Juania Carter from Compton. They created an Android mobile app they call “Take it Back,” which is a text messaging app that allows users to retrieve a document, or text that was sent by mistake. The app provides a cloud-based code that is unique in its application.
The three winners were awarded the Dhat Stone Academy first place trophy, and free computer coding classes. They will also have their app idea designed, built, and sold online.
They were inspired to develop a game app called Animated Boxing Gym, a time depended game that gives an animated boxer a certain amount of time to carry out different tasks in a boxing gym before a man comes out of nowhere to take a punch. The four winners were awarded the Dhat Stone Academy 2nd place ribbons. They also got a place in the upcoming coding workshops.
“We’re pleased with the innovative ideas that the young people made with their own creativity. They show great promise as coders, and they should be proud of their finalist status”, said Tariq Sawandi, cofounder of Dhat Stone Academy. Dhat Stone Academy and Priority Housing Corporation look forward to seeing the winners in the Dhat Stone coding workshops in March.
The 2016 Compton Youth of Color Hackathon was held for a period of four- hours, located at 714 South Long Beach Blvd Compton California 90221. Further info about Dhat Stone High Tech Learning Academy can be found here http://www.DhatStoneAcademy.org
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