The Watt Family Innovation Center will host approximately 150 attendees Saturday and Sunday for CUhackit, the school’s first-ever “hackathon” in which students of different academic disciplines come together in small teams to create real projects in a collaborative environment. The creative portion of the event will span 23 hours straight, one short of 24 hours because of daylight saving time.
CUhackit is the creation of CUhackers, a student-led organization that launched in the fall of 2017 with the purpose of promoting innovation, creativity and capability, not only to its members, but also the university as a whole. CUhackit will showcase competing teams, with prize giveaways for the overall hackathon winner and runner-up, as well as winners in three different creative categories.
“The biggest goal of the event is fostering a culture of lifelong learning,” said Patrick Gorospe, a senior industrial engineering major who serves as the CUhackers communications and finance lead. “CUhackit gives students an opportunity to apply the skills they’ve learned in the classroom. This event would not be possible without the incredible generosity of our team of sponsors led by Siemens.”
The opening ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and the awards ceremony takes place at noon the following day. Both the Makerspace, where students take ideas from concept to prototype, and Immersive Space, where students develop virtual and augmented reality applications, will be open to teams during the event. In addition to the team competition, the event is scheduled to include networking opportunities with corporate sponsors, informal discussions, educational workshops, games and more.
Gorospe hopes the event encourages not only coding from a group of registered participants primarily from STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors, but also entrepreneurship and design. He also said a future goal for CUhackers is to expand the event and open it to regional schools.
Junior computer science major and fellow University Innovation Fellows scholar Madison Maddox is the design lead for CUhackers and is excited to see the event launch.
“Creating and learning for the sake of creating and learning — that’s what I’m so excited for everyone involved with CUhackit to be a part of,” she said. “With the date so close, it’s crunch time, but our team is really having fun with planning and we hope the event reflects that. I can’t wait to CUhackit!”