Hacking away at global education problems

Hacking away at global education problems

After the huge success of last year’s event, the ITS Hack-a-thon is back and bigger than ever.

One of Australia’s biggest Hack-a-thons, the 24-hour design sprint event will run across 27 and 28 July, with 130 multi-disciplinary students set to work together to test their problem-solving skills.

Despite what the title suggests, hacking skills are optional - student teams will be able to respond to the theme ‘Connected Communities,’ focused on creating equality in education around the globe, with anything from a business idea, solution software, or an app.

The sold-out event will be presented in collaboration with industry partners Capgemini Invent, Amazon Web Services, Education Advantage, and Readify, which will also host the event at its head office, as well as student clubs, the CSIT Society and The Programming Club. 

Ctrl Alt Delete was a winning team at the 2018 RMIT ITS Hack-a-thon.

Chief Information Officer Paul Oppenheimer said the Hack-a-thon provided a valuable platform for students, industry partners and mentors to exchange skills and information.

“Responding to real challenges in a hands-on environment, and working with people who bring varied experience to the table, helps set students up for their future careers.”

Executive Director of Planning and Transformation Sue Bolt will be part of a team of volunteers and 30 industry mentors supporting students well into the night hours.

“Events like the ITS Hack-a-thon provide our students with unprecedented access to industry professionals and our network of alumni who make time to share their experiences and expertise,” Bolt said.

For some participants, the Hack-a-thon may also become a stepping stone for their careers – one of last year’s first prize winners, RMIT alumnus James Dale, was offered a role as a tester in the University’s CyberSecurity Team and has gone to work for tech giant Apple in California.

The first and second-place Hack-a-thon winners could get their ideas implemented into RMIT.

Capgemini Invent Vice-President and Head of Customer Engagement Katherine Battle-Schulz said the company was excited to be part of the event.

“At Capgemini Invent we bring to life what’s next for our clients. This weekend we are thrilled to be mentoring the innovative minds at the RMIT ITS Hack-a-thon as they imagine what’s next for connected communities,” Battle-Schulz said.

After ‘keyboards down’ on Sunday morning, teams will present their work to a judging panel, including Oppenheimer, Battle-Schulz and ‘Queen of Hackathons’ Michelle Mannering.

The winning team will score a study tour to Silicon Valley, San Francisco, including a tour of leading tech companies, a meet and greet with industry leaders and a chance to experience emerging technology.

The runners-up will receive cash prizes valued at $5,000 and $2,000.

 

Story: Jasmijn van Houten

26 July 2019

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26 July 2019

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