Hacking away at brilliance
Nearly 150 of Hawai‘i’s tech enthusiasts accepted the 24-hour challenge to conceive, design, build and present an innovative app at the 2017 UH-AT&T Hackathon in March. Teams competed in eight categories – including gaming, the internet of things, and user experience – for their share of $7,000 in cash prizes.
A tiny computer hidden in a fuzzy snow leopard automatically downloaded newly posted songs on Reddit. A mobile app located the nearest farmers’ markets and displayed their hours of operation. A connection between a smartphone and an Amazon Echo could welcome you home with your selected theme music. These were some of the great ideas participants turned into reality while judges, representatives from local tech firms, and community leaders cheered them on.
The annual event was bigger and bolder than ever thanks to AT&T, which has contributed $55,000 over the last four years as title sponsor. The UH Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) department, the Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training, DevLeague, the High Technology Development Corporation, and host Sacred Hearts Academy were co-sponsors of the event.
High school students take a leap at college
AT&T has also donated $30,000 in recent years to help prepare high school students for college success through the Hawai‘i P-20 Early College Initiative.
AT&T’s support has allowed students at Waimea High, Roosevelt High, and Leilehua High to take college-level courses on their own campuses, earning high school credit as well as college credit. Students who participated two years ago were nearly twice as likely to enroll in college as students without such dual credit. Enrollment numbers were even more impressive for economically disadvantaged students in the program.
Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education is a statewide partnership led by the Executive Office on Early Learning, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and the UH System that works to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education so that all students achieve college and career success.