Code for Climate Hackathon
Our vision for Canada is for students to be more aware of how coding can create social change. The Miles Macdonell Collegiate Hack Club leaders and ESD club (Education for Sustainable Development) joined forces to run an environmental themed hackathon called “Code For Climate” where students spent the whole day building a program related to our theme of “The Effects of Climate Change on Communities and The Environment” in teams of 2-4. Our vision is to give students the tools to create something for
the greater good of their community and show them the role that technology can play in climate action.
Our Hackathon was held in December and our student leaders then presented to other students how they could run and organize a Code for Climate event at their own schools at the LSF Manitoba Conference in February. Students spent the whole day coding in teams to build a program related to our theme of “The Effects of Climate Change on Communities and the Environment”. We had 50 students take part in the event. The teams built so many impressive programs, many of them being first time coders! They learnt a new valuable skill and technology’s role in climate action. Our ESD and Hack Club student leaders organized and implemented this event with the guidance of teacher advisors. Hackathons spark great ideas all the time. They are especially impactful for beginners because it shows them how fun and easy coding can be. One of our teams, composed of 3 girls, this was their first time coding and they won the “Most Educational” category for creating a Google Action where you could say “Hey Google, which plastics can I recycle?” and it would give you instant feedback much like Siri. Their win was well deserved for their well researched program. Our hackathon gave students the tools to create something for the greater good of their community and showed them technology’s role in climate action.
Reflection & Celebration
This event was highly successful- not only did it encourage more students to join our student ESD club, but it also lead to some of the projects that were created that day to be implemented (including an ESD themed video game). Our student leaders did a great job of planning and organizing the event- since it was a whole day event a lot of time and energy was put into it to ensure participants received the proper instruction and remained engaged. This project ended up leading to new opportunities for the student leaders including presenting what they did at the Manitoba LSF conference. It also lead to the creation of a new club at our school called GEMS which encourages female students to take part in projects and leadership opportunities related to STEAM (Science, Technology and the Arts)- one of the aims of this group is to empower female students to find solutions to ESD related challenges through technology.