K-12 Students to Test Future of Work Skills in Global Hackathon

By Mark Lieberman — December 05, 2019 1 min read
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Young technology enthusiasts from around the world will spend all day Saturday learning new skills and creating innovative projects as part of Local Hack Day: Build, the latest in a series of growing annual events from Major League Hacking.

“Major League Hacking started six years ago with a simple goal: to share hacker culture with as many people as possible,” Mike Swift, co-founder and CEO of Major League Hacking, said in a news release. “Since then, we’ve completely reinvented the on-campus hacker experience and introduced more than 350,000 aspiring technologists to our community through hackathons and technical workshops.”

More than 10,000 attendees are expected for this year’s event, according to Major League Hacking. About 10 percent of last year’s attendees were K-12 students, according to a Major League Hacking spokesperson.

The organization emphasizes that anyone—student or adult, experienced or amateur coder— can participate, either as a hacker or a local event organizer. The event site lists local events for this year’s program in more than 50 countries as well as several U.S. cities, including Los Angeles; Rochester, N.Y.; Cambridge, Mass.; St. Paul, Minn.; and Providence, R.I. Find the event closest to you on this page.

Last year’s competition winners included a personal assistant bot like the ones CEOs use in movies, a mechanism for tech project owners to reward contributors with cryptocurrency; a script for editing HTML without using code; and a platform for tourists to share experiences.

Anyone can host a hackathon as part of the global event. The organization, in partnership with Microsoft, provides a variety of materials to registered hackathon leaders, including “presentations, content, teaching materials, code samples, a code of conduct playbook, and co-branded swag.”

Hackathons are designed, in large part, to prepare young people for the future of work. Education Week has reported extensively on the rapidly evolving workplace and educators’ scramble to maximize students’ ability to thrive within it.

Image: Getty

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.