Calling all youth coders and youths interested in coding, the region’s first ever youth hackathon is Dec. 2nd and will highlight the growing interest among local children in the fastest growing profession in the world
SYRACUSE, NY – On Saturday, December 2 kids as young as eight years old will bring their laptops, imagination, and teamwork to the first youth hackathon in the greater Syracuse region – known as CuseYouthHack Powered by AT&T. The hackathon will take place at The Tech Garden, 235 Harrison St, Syracuse, NY from 10 a.m. -6 p.m.
The hackathon is a collaboration between Tech4Kidz, The Tech Garden and Hack Upstate, which offers technology, coding and engineering classes to local students, The Tech Garden and AT&T, and Hack Upstate was born out of a desire to expand coding opportunities for Syracuse-area youth. Coding and computer science related skills are quickly becoming one of the most desired job skills to process in today’s global economy. Programs like the <‘CuseYouthHack> Powered by AT&T will continue to expose youth to future career opportunities that are available in the fields of information technology and coding. The event is free to participate in, but is limited to 40 students, who must fill out an application and possess basic criteria coding skills to take part. Parents may register their children at https://tech4kidz.net/1172-2/.
CuseYouthHack Powered by AT&T will be run in a similar fashion to other hackathons held locally – in which computer programmers and others involved in software and hardware development collaborate intensively on projects to solve challenges with technology. This time around, the event will be geared towards a younger participants and focus on different types of issues within the digital world. The young participants will build apps, games, websites, animations and interactive stories related to cyberbullying and internet safety, while being judged on their teamwork, imagination, code skills and design skills. The hackathon will feature mentors from area colleges, tech companies and local developers assisting the participants.
“AT&T is proud to collaborate with Tech4Kidz, The Tech Garden and Hack Upstate to provide this innovative experience for local students as it further enhances our commitment to providing resources for STEM and coding-related educational programing in the greater Syracuse region and throughout the State,” said Marissa Shorenstein, president, AT&T Northeast Region. “Our economy continues to transform at a robust pace – requiring a workforce with a focus on technological education and digital literacy - and STEM and coding opportunities like this one are vital to ensure that the students of today are prepared for the global economy of tomorrow. I am excited to see the creativity and innovation from the young minds that participate in this unique hackathon.”
Final projects at CuseYouthHack Powered by AT&T will be judged by a panel of judges made up of local tech experts, community leaders, education experts and elected officials. Each submission will be scored on its potential impact on the category entered, the quality of execution, and creativity or novelty within the work. The hackathon will challenge participants to come up with technological solutions and tools to address the growing problem of cyberbullying and internet safety, while awarding for best design skills, code skills and teamwork.
“Our goal in this hackathon is to engage young minds in the area of technology and help them become confident and critical thinkers,” said Pam Puri, founder, Tech4Kidz. “Early introduction to programming teaches kids to think in a logical and systematic way, develops skills they can apply in all aspects of school, and introduces them to computer science principles. We want to thank AT&T for partnering with us and supporting STEM education in Upstate NY. We also want to thank The Tech Garden and HackUpstate for their support and contribution to this innovative event.”
“The <‘CuseYouthHack> Powered by AT&T invigorates the innovative and entrepreneurial atmosphere that we strive to bring to the Central New York community,” said Rick Clonan, VP of Innovation and Technology at The Tech Garden. “We’re excited to encourage and support these efforts for our next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Coding is quickly becoming the new literacy, with technology powering every electronic device kids and adults interact with. The appetite among students for coding is growing in popularity as the discipline is a main driver of innovation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much of the growth in the demotic and global economy will come from STEM related jobs – a highly lucrative and competitive field. While jobs overall are expected to grow by 10 percent in 2018, STEM jobs are predicted to grow by 17 percent, and it is estimated by 2020 there will be 2.4 million unfilled STEM jobs in the US. More than half of this growth will be made up of computer careers, underscoring the importance of providing the youth the tools and skills necessary to compete in this innovation economy. CuseYouthHack Powered by AT&T will help to create a future of smart, innovative applicants to help fill these jobs someday.
"Hack Upstate is thrilled to have the opportunity to support CNY's youth in their efforts to learn the fundamentals of code. They will advance Upstate NY's technology community for years to come," said Doug Crescenzi, co-founder, Hack Upstate.
Interested persons can also follow the challenge on Twitter using the hashtag #CuseYouthHack.
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. The company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $400 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.
Tech4kidz offers year round technology classes to kids ages 7-15 as well as engineering/coding/drone camps during the summer. These classes promote computational thinking and provide kids with problem solving skills they will apply in all areas of school. Our goal is to engage kids in technology at an early age so that it opens doors for them later in school and makes them confident users of the technology that is all around them. The classes have a low student to teach ratio which allows kids to move at their own pace. To learn more, visit us at www.tech4kidz.net.
About Syracuse The Tech Garden
The Tech Garden is Central New York’s premier incubator located in downtown Syracuse. The Tech Garden’s mission is to stimulate high-tech entrepreneurship, foster the development of emerging growth companies, and support technology commercialization throughout the region. Start-up technology businesses are offered business plan assistance, mentoring and marketing advice, targeted referrals, networking opportunities and state-of-the-art office space from which to grow their businesses. The Tech Garden is an affiliate of CenterState CEO.