Hackathon for Kids

On 3 February 2018, we organized a Hackathon for Kids under the project Code to Enhance Learning at, a low income school, Shama School, Ahmedabad which was an hour sprint event where kids were supposed to make an application or animation about self or community which they like and or want to change to express or solve a problem on Scratch, block based programming environment developed by MIT Media Labs. The participants were then asked to present their project in front of a panel of 2 judges, who were from Teach For India staff, Fellow, Alums, story teller, guest professor and in house teacher, followed by Q & A. The purpose of the Hackathon was to give kids chance to showcase the skills relevant to current world which they have been learning as part of the coding course in this academic year of Code to Enhance Learning.
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It was an all girls event where 40 girls participated from grade 4-9 in the Hackathon and made 40 different projects and all were about different things like Girl power, Children’s Life, child labor, transport systems, water pollution, etc.  The projects were either in form of animation or interactive virtual books. It was nice to see that all of them came planned with the layout of the project and content with some good deliberation and few even came up with steps written about what they will do. The project of kids were gauged on seven criteria i.e. project completion, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, perseverance, experimenting and abstraction in a simulating a real life situation as we asked them they could refer to any resource, ask questions even to judges, collaborate with peers, etc. The kids would now be given feedback on their performance on each criteria which they can discuss with their teachers and understand the steps which they can follow to grow on the skills.

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There were many interesting things I saw in throughout the event and really felt overwhelmed. Firstly, the amount of support the school and the judges, who were even not related to the school or project, gave so that kids are able to perform best to their potential spending time with them, helping them, motivating them, etc. I saw that each one of us had the feeling of community working towards something big. Secondly, the kids are so hungry to create and things and they observe things around well. They never blinked while coding and at certain point when the room didn’t have judges or school staff still there was no noise and they were so focused.

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One last amazing thing was the grit and never give up attitude I saw when few of the girls lost their project because of some technical issue they for a second didnt drop their shoulders and immediately tried making it again or started presenting the project without dropping their shoulders. I specifically remember one girl sharing that “(in Hindi) Sir kuch bhi ho bas karna hai!

I hope that you enjoyed it!

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