"App-Building for Good," was the theme of the third annual Middle School Hackathon. Engineering & Computer Science Department Chair Dr. Monica Ortiz kicked-off the event by asking the assembled students: "If a natural disaster hit Greenwich, what kind of apps would be useful to our community in the aftermath?"
Over the course of four hours on a Sunday afternoon, six teams of girls in Groups V – VII set out to answer that questions. With Upper School computer science students as their mentors, they discussed some of the problems faced by communities after a natural disaster and then identified an area of focus for their team. The next step was to brainstorm the functionality that would be useful for an app intended to address this focus area.
All groups then reconvened for an app showcase with teams taking turns to present their creations. The innovative apps offered solutions for everything from reuniting lost pets with their owners, to determining if you are suffering from an injury that requires medical attention.
Students closed out the afternoon with a sense of accomplishment from having developed a working app within a matter of hours, and also an understanding how computer science can be used to "do good."