A highlight of our spring here at Code Nation was the Chicago Hackathon on May 21! It was so special to bring together our full community of students, volunteers, and company partners in Chicago for this signature event after a 2-year pause!
Almost 75 high schoolers from across Chicago and 50 volunteer tech professionals spent their Saturday with us and built a project around the theme, “Best of Chicago”. Classmates, new friends, and mentors worked together to plan, design, and code a new website from scratch, which they presented at the end of the day to a panel of judges. These websites were wholly original, exploring and showcasing the best parts of Chicago!
The winning project in the first-year competition was an interactive website that showcases what to do in Chicago during the different seasons. In the advanced competition—with students from the Fellowship programs and alumni—Team Bloom won for a website that predicts a user’s ideal day in the city based on their interests. While only two teams were able to win the final award, all of the projects were creative, original, and well done. Check them out here!
In the final survey, 97% of students said they were satisfied with their experience at the event, and 90% of students reported that they’re more likely to pursue a career in technology because of the Hackathon. Students and mentors had such positive reviews of the day, including:
We’re so thankful to Discovery Partners Institute for hosting us in their lovely space! A huge thank you also to our sponsors: Verizon, IMC, Chime, 8th Light, Relativity, Basis Technologies, Reverb, P33, Black@Sprout from Sprout Social, Lofty Ventures, and Objective Paradigm. These companies are backing up their commitment to creating an equitable tech industry by supporting Code Nation financially, encouraging their employees to join as technical and support volunteers, and sharing our programs widely. Thank you for making the day possible and so special for Chicago students!