Do you love to design?
Are you passionate about technology?
Do you want to use technology to build a better community?
If so, we want you to join us to design and develop a digital story that illustrate how to build a better community. Specific topics will be presented by community members the day of the event. You don’t have to have any coding experience to participate. In this Hackathon you will have the opportunity to learn developing digital stories. There will be a workshop that introduces you to the software Scratch. You will be working in a team to implement your own digital story with Scratch. Teamwork is a great way to meet other students who are passionate about technology. Professional mentors will be onsite to help you. The day will close with an exhibit where all teams showcase their work.
The event is open to every student of age 13-17. If you are older but still in High School, that is okay as well. Bring a laptop (if possible), an open mindset, creativity, and a lot of enthusiasm! We provide the rest.
Location & Schedule
The Hackathon will take place February 17, 2018, 10am-5pm, at the Education Center (Room 1-2) on the UWG Campus in Carrollton, GA (1601 Maple Street, Carrollton, GA 30118). Below is the tentative schedule:
- 10am-10:15am - Registration and greeting
- 10:15an-10:30am - Opening talks
- 10:30am-10:45am - Forming teams
- 10:45am - Code start
- 11am-11:20am - Scratch workshop
- 12:30pm-1:30pm - Lunch
- 4pm - Code stop
- 4pm-4:45pm - Showcasing of results
- 4:45pm-5pm - Final announcements
A hackathon is a marathon where teams of students design and implement software within a very short time-frame. The participants do not need to have already any technical skills, like programming experience, before the hackathon. Instead, they learn from each other and from mentors at the event.
Everybody age 13 to 17 can participate. If you are older but still in High School, that is okay as well.
If you know other students, you can team up already before the Hackathon. But you can also join a team onsite. A team should consist of 3-4 students. Working on your own is strongly discouraged.
That is not a problem. We will provide a workshop to get you started. We also recommend that you go through the posted Scratch tutorials (see the tab "Getting Ready"). Scratch is a popular platform that has been designed for novice programmers. Throughout the entire event, there will be professional mentors to help you code. Note that every team needs not only programmers, but also members that design, implement, and promote your team’s digital story.
Bring a laptop, an open mindset, creativity, and a lot of enthusiasm. If you don’t have a laptop, you can request a free loaner laptop in your registration form. We will provide expert mentors, a short workshop to get you started, WiFi, and lunch.
We will use Scratch to create a digital story. Before the Hackathon, you should go through tutorials that we have posted under the tab "Getting Ready" to familiarize yourself with the software.
At the beginning of the Hackathon, we will introduce two themes to choose from. You will have to stick with the given themes and with the programming platform Scratch. Everything else is decided by your team.
Your parents have to register you online. Check out the Registration tab above for details.
Please contact Anja Remshagen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information, contact Anja Remshagen (email@example.com).
The Registration is now closed.
What you need to bring
You need to bring a laptop. We also recommend that you bring a mouse and a power cord for your laptop. We will be using Scratch at the Hackathon. Scratch is a programming language with a browser-based development environment. Therefore, you only need a web browser and an Internet connection to program in Scratch. However, we also recommend installing Scratch on your laptop, just in case the Scratch server is unavailable at the day of the Hackathon or you have problems connecting to the Internet. To install Scratch, follow the instructions on the Scratch site.
If you don’t have a laptop, you can request a free loaner laptop in your registration form.
What you need to prepare
You should familiarize yourself with Scratch before the Hackathon. Scratch is a free browser-based software developed and maintained by MIT Media Lab. If you are not familiar with Scratch, we recommend watching Getting Started with Scratch. The video tutorial gives you a general overview over Scratch:
On the same tutorial page, Scratch offers a variety of other video tutorials that introduce you to specific Scratch features.
At the Hackathon, you will be implementing a digital story. This MIT Scratch Story Tutorial shows you how to create a simple story. Pay attention to the broadcasting feature, it is very useful to synchronize the actions in a digital story.
Once you have a good idea of how to work with Scratch, check out the next section to learn more about the design and implementation of digital stories. If you have problems working with Scratch, don't worry. We will have mentors at the Hackathon to help you.
How to create a digital story
Before implementing any software, you need to decide on the design. In case of digital stories, you create a first a storyboard. Read a short introduction to storyboards.
Once you are done with the storyboard, start a new Scratch project and follow the example to implement a story.
How to create a Scratch account
It is hard to learn programming without getting your hands dirty. You can work with Scratch without creating an account. However, we recommend that you join the Scratch community by creating your own account. This will allow you to save and share your project. In order to create an account, you will need an email address of your parents or guardian:
- Go to Scratch.
- Navigate to the upper right-hand side of the browser, you should see an icon that
says Join Scratch. Click the icon to begin registration:
- After you have clicked the icon you will be directed to a page like below. Choose your preferred username and password. Make sure to remember these so you can login again:
- After you are satisfied with your username and password, click next to be directed to a page where you will enter a few bits of personal info:
- After you have entered this info, click Next so you can enter in your parent's email information. You’re almost done!
- Once you have successfully completed the previous steps, you will see the confirmation page that will display your username and email address you entered. Now you’re all done! Just click OK let’s go to get to your personal home page and start creating!
Ask your parent to check their email and to confirm the email address.
The Hackathon Theme
- Stop Bullying: (https://www.stopbullying.gov/)
- Antibullying "Brave" Line (212-709-3222)
- Scientific American "Origins of Bullying" article (https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/the-origins-of-bullying/)
- Closest Emergency Room
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-TALK)
- 1-888-628-9454 (Spanish)
- 1-800-799-4TTY (TTY)
- Veteran's Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 Press 1)
- Willowbrooke at Tanner Help Line (770-836-9551)
- Any mental health professional.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/)
- Suicide factors and warning signs (https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/)
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center (http://www.sprc.org/)
- American Association of Suicidology (http://www.suicidology.org/home)
- International Association for Suicide Prevention (https://www.iasp.info/wspd/)
- Georgia Suicide Prevention Information Network (http://www.gspin.org/)
- Suicide Is Preventable: CA website (http://www.suicideispreventable.org/)
Sample Scratch Animations
You should include a sprite, called a controller, that controls the execution of your animation. That means, the controller ensures that the scenes are executed one-by-one in the proper order. Below are some sample project. You can use the template project as a starter project for your own animation.
Images and Sounds
Scratch contains a library of images and sounds you can use in your animation. Some websites that offer free images and sounds for download. If you share your project publicly, you should give credit to the site from where you downloaded the images or sounds. You should also give credit if you used any other resources, like text. To give credit, list the sites in the Notes and Credits panel of your Scratch project:
- freesound is a database with variety of audio snippets. (You need to login to download sounds. You can ask a student mentor at the Hackathon to login.)
- openclipart is a collection of clipart images.
We would like to thank our funding sponsors, including GreenCourt, The Walmart Community Foundation, The UWG Fusion Center / College of Education and The UWG College of Science and Mathematics.