Brooklyn Landmark Elementary School, a Change for Kids partner school, hosted the first-ever elementary/middle school Hackathon in District 23- the local school district that encompasses Brownsville. What The is a Hackathon, you ask?
#WTHack2017 brought scholars and parents from all over Brownsville to Brooklyn Landmark for full Saturday of coding, critical thinking, discovery and fun.
Lydia Smith, the parent coordinator at Brooklyn Landmark, spearheaded the event to show students that no matter where they come from, they can create their own futures through coding and technology.
Notably, there is a lack of diversity in STEM-related fields in the U.S. It’s increasingly important to get students from underrepresented communities interested in coding and technology even as early as 1st grade.
The task of the day required students to develop with an application that could solve a problem in Brownsville through innovation and entrepreneurship. Every scholar had the opportunity to sit and try a new platform - Scratch Jr. and MIT App Inventor - and learn about entrepreneurship.
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Once the projects were completed, the scholars presented their projects on stage to a panel of three judges - a Brooklyn Landmark parent who works in the foundations department at Verizon, a high school student who works on coding projects with ScriptEd, and a District 23 representative.
Some of the incredibly innovative projects included:
- A digital advertisement for a pool, made by a team of students from 1st to 3rd grade, to show that “Brownsville is a good place to be and lots of fun.”
- A digital representation of how parks are in Brownsville look now and how they could be improved.
- A tutoring app to helps students with math.
- An app that shows users where different forms of art are- aka the “cool things in Brownsville.”
- “Brownsville’s Little Taskers” - a community-based app to provide transportation to events and help community members (especially the elderly) with every day errands. The app also remind users about educational and recreational opportunities.
The two 4th grade scholars who developed “Brownsville Trading” - an app that allows people to trade items they don’t want any more for an item they need.
Listen to the brilliant developers discuss their app and their experience at the Hackathon!
Scholars left the Hackathon with newfound skills and a passion for coding. But what’s just as important as the experience?
The understanding that anything is possible.
Congratulations to Brooklyn Landmark for hosting such a fabulous event with collaboration from Change for Kids School Manager Zareta Ricks, Digital Girl Inc., ScriptEd, and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship!