Hackathon 2020: #CodeTheMovement

Each year, Code Nation celebrates the newest cohort of coders at annual city-wide Hackathons. Across our regions, students, volunteers, and community members come together for a full day of collaboration and coding around a surprise theme revealed day-of. Teams spend the day together designing, planning, and coding a new website (from scratch!) before presenting their projects to a panel of rockstar judges.

In 2020, Code Nation students were tasked with a challenge to #CodeTheMovement. Around this theme, teams collaborated to develop apps and interactive websites that bring visibility to the social and issues they are most passionate about. Whether it’s climate change, immigration, equal rights, or another social justice cause – with every project our students prove that youth can code the future and be the movement!

Read on for Hackathon highlights from each of our regions!


On February 22nd, 70 high schoolers and 30 software developers came together at Google for our first-ever Code Nation Hackathon in the Windy City to #CodeTheMovement.

While only 4 teams made it to the finals and just one was crowned the winner, all of the projects brought to life will blow you away with their creativity and mastery of foundational HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills. Check them out here!  The winning team created Project S.A.V.E, an interactive website that highlights the effects of climate change on endangered species across the globe.

About his first Hackathon, Code Nation student Fernando reflected, “For the first time ever, I felt like I wasn’t working on a project by myself. I really had a team that I could depend on.” Talk about teamwork and collaboration!

We’re so thankful to our host, Google, our sponsors, StripeRelativity, and Centro, and all of our technical and support volunteers for making the day possible and so special for students.

Bay Area

In the Bay, we were thrilled to kick off the decade with a bang at our fourth annual Bay Area Hackathon on February 7th.

This year’s Bay Area Hackathon brought together over 60 Fellowship students and 20 volunteers to #CodeTheMovement!

Equipped with laptops, hacker t-shirts, and snacks galore, students and mentors embarked on an all-day coding journey. From project planning and wire-framing to finished products, it was truly inspiring to see our students apply the skills they’ve been building in Fellowship this year to their projects. They brought the very best of their creativity, passion, and stamina to produce some truly inventive websites! Check out the winning projects below:

First Place: Foster Feed

Second Place: Inspire SAT

Third Place: Movement MoveIt

Special thanks to our sponsoring host, Microsoft Reactor, and to our generous team sponsors, LaunchDarkly, Atlassian, Pivotal, Ripple, and Inkling for supporting our community to make this event happen!

New York City

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic upended our plans for an in person hackathon in NYC. Instead, we piloted our first ever virtual hackathon, that brought students together from across the country. Read more about the virtual hackathon here.

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