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Taft Students Code For 24-Straight Hours, Win At CPS Hackathon

Katie Morris, Reporter

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Taft students came together to utilize their coding skills and won recognition in Chicago’s first-ever 24-hour Chicago Public Schools Hackathon.

Student groups Chicode and Event 0 hosted the first ever student-run 24-hour CPS Hackathon last month.  The event lasted from 11a.m. on May 19 to noon on May 20 at ChiTech Academy. The hackathon hosted over 100 CPS students interested in showing off and learning coding skills. The students form teams, and then begin to design and create all night long. Each group of students had 24 hours to complete work in one of three categories: gaming, application development or website development.  Within each parent-category there were five-subcategories students could be recognized in: Category Best, Creativity, Improvement, Most Fun, and Best Overall. There were over $16,000 total in prizes awarded.

“Overall the event went extremely well. They (team of five Taft students) had 24 hours to create this game through their coding skills, taking it to another level which shows because they got the First Place for most fun in their category.  I like to encourage the kids with coding because we are moving in this direction, it’s new era of technology,” said Computer Science teacher, Alexandra Jados.

Out of the six Taft students that attended each went home with an award. Here are the following Taft students groups and their prizes:

Team of the five Taft students: Avery Leska, Daniel Tao, Dylan Allen, Ayden Estrada, and Angel Degente. Their game won Most Fun.

One Taft student competed with students from other CPS schools: Noah Trinidad and his teammate’s web-based adventure won Most Creative.

The day at the event consisted of meetings, meals, fun activities, and workshops. They had event speaker that showed how coding changed their life.

“While people were sleeping other people were awake, and vice versa. You had all these people doing all of these different things, and it was just fun to know that we were a team… There was a man coming around that was interested in giving each of us a scholarship for colleges that will take you if we won. After that we were more dedicated to win because the man was offering for us to go to college for free, for coding which we love. Since we did end up winning, we contacted the man to let him know and to see if we won the scholarships,” said Leska.  

The students that ran the event are CPS students that want more classes and students throughout Chicago to code. For that reason they created Chicode, a network that is helping Chicago youth discover code. Chicode organizes these codeathons, and also helps students create coding clubs at their own school. This 24 CPS Hackathon was their first event, and they have more to come.

The game, Galactic Defender the group of Taft students made can be found on the website, Scratch for anyone interested in coding and trying it out.

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/224257984/

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Taft Students Code For 24-Straight Hours, Win At CPS Hackathon