designLab

St. Luke's Hackathon



Make it Better is the Hackathon theme and a call to action: Find a way to make the world a little better—for humanity, yourself, your dog or a random stranger. All you need to do is identify a problem, begin imagining how to solve it, and you're well on your way to hacking. You then have 30 hours to begin to make your idea a reality!

The Prospector Theater—and their employees known as Prospects—may provide inspiration. The Prospector is a first-run movie theater providing meaningful employment to adults with disabilities. In fact, 75% of Prospects identify with a disability. Prospects will present at the start of the Hackathon, sharing how they make the world a little better and where they could use a little help. Hackers will have the option of tackling challenges raised by Prospects or working on their own unrelated ideas. 

Did you know? Hackathon is a portmanteau of the words "hack" and "marathon." Hack is used in a playful, exploratory sense of fusing different technologies to develop innovative solutions. Marathon reflects the big block of time (30 hours in our case) set aside to go the distance with your idea.
 
St. Luke's Hackathon is for all students (any school) in grades 5-12.




Who is the Hackathon for?

Hackathons are a great place to practice and learn about coding, fabrication and engineering—but at the heart of hacking is creative thinking and problem-solving.

Do you:
  • Thrive on creativity
  • Like "making" stuff
  • Dig FREE FOOD
  • Enjoy competing for prizes
  • Seek to make the world a better place

If yes—Hackathon 2020 is for you! St. Luke's Hackathon is open to all students in grades 5-12 (St. Luke's students and the public). 

For more information, please contact designLab Director Michael Mitchell at mitchellm@stlukesct.org

No knowledge of coding or engineering is required. Just be willing to have a good time while learning something new. 


What will I make?

There are two Hackathon Make it Better tracks you may choose from: 

Track One: Prospector Theater
These hacks will be judged by how creatively they solve a problem related to the Prospector Theater and its Prospects (employees). They'll identify challenges and you can help to make it better. 

Track Two: Your Own Idea
These hacks will be judged by how creatively they solve a problem that makes something better—that's an intentionally vast range that includes big ideas like saving our environment to smaller solutions like how to keep your soda from losing its fizz. It's all good.

For both tracks: If it's creative and you've done your best to turn your concept into some kind of working model—you're a hacker! 

A Real-World "Hack"

The Prospector Theater is the perfect partner. Founder Valerie Jensen is a St. Luke's parent, trustee and...hacker! Valerie is an out-of-the-box thinker who solved a real-world problem by turning a soon-to-be-demolished theater into a thriving non-profit that makes the world better!

The Prospector's mission is for employees known as Prospects "to sparkle, shine, and transform our passions into professions." Over 230 Prospects are able to sparkle and shine thanks to the Prospector Theater. 

Read more in The New York Times, In Ridgefield, a Movie Theater with a Lofty Mission and Forbes The 'Prospects' Look Good For This Local Connecticut Movie Theater, Gotham Gal blog--Prospector Theater, Valerie Jensen, Woman Entrepreneur.

2020 Hackathon Schedule

Saturday
8:00 - 8:30am        Registration & Table Setup
8:30 - 9:00am        Welcome & Opening Remarks
12:00 - 12:30pm    Lunch
6:00 - 6:30pm        Dinner
11:30pm - 12:00am    Late-Night Snack
 
Sunday
8:00 - 9:00am        Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 9:30am        Transition from Hacking to Presentation
10:30 - 12:30pm    Judging
12:30 - 1:00pm      Lunch
1:00 - 1:30pm        Show & Tell
1:30 - 2:00pm  Finalists' Presentations, Awards & Closing Remarks

Hackathon News


"Make It Better: Hackathon 2019" New Canaan Advertiser

"Don't Miss This!" Letter from Julia Gabriele

"Come Hack St. Luke's!" News from the Hilltop

"
Hackathon 2019" Email from designLab Director Michael Mitchell

St. Luke’s Hackathon Draws Innovators for Weekend New Canaan Advertiser

St. Luke’s Hacked Again New Canaan Advertiser

Why Your School Should Be Hacked NAIS Magazine


We’ve Been Hacked
 NAIS Inspiration Lab
 


Hackathon Video



Photos from previous Hackathons

St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.