November 30, 2018
On Saturday, Dec. 1, WCU will be one of only four sites in Pennsylvania that will host a free “Local Hack Day” for computer coders of all ages and skill levels, even wannabes. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Room 158 of 25 University Avenue, West Chester, PA 19383.
In these learning-focused invention marathons, participants dream up interesting projects and work in small teams to bring them to life in only 12 hours. An annual event, Worldwide Local Hack Day is organized by Major League Hacking (MLH), with support from Microsoft and hosting service GitHub. MLH created this and weekend-long hackathons to inspire innovation, cultivate communities, and teach computer science skills, especially to youth, across the globe.
MLH’s 2017 event brought out more than 6,000 participants across 34 countries and 236 cities, with WCU drawing about 100 coders last year.
“Hackathons can be intimidating, but Local Hack Day is a starting point,” said Jenna Abbott, president of WCU’s Computer Science Club. A Middletown, PA, native, she is completing a computer science major with a minor in business geographic information systems while also pursuing the Computer Security Certificate.
“We use MLH’s Local Hack Day as a way to celebrate our local tech community and introduce newcomers to it,” added Brandon Barker, Computer Science Club VP and native of Downingtown. He is a dual major in computer science and business management with a minor in mathematics.
Both students emphasized the inclusive nature of the event, with Barker concluding, “Local Hack Day will create a sense of belonging and discovery for participants … and a place where they can come back to pursue their interests in the future.”