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‘Coding for community good’

August 20, 2015

Huskie HackHacking isn’t just for computer geeks or technical experts – it’s for everyone.

NIU will host Huskie Hack from noon Saturday, Sept. 26, to noon Sunday, Sept. 27, in the Holmes Student Center.

This free and interactive event is devoted to experiential learning, collaborative brainstorming and fun. Students from NIU, selected high schools and Chicagoland community colleges, along with die-hard coders from other universities, are invited to explore their inner geek.

Register now to become part of an interdisciplinary student team competing for prizes by creating mobile apps and developing web-based tools for local nonprofits and important social and service organizations.

Civic hackathons provide a venue for self-expression and creativity through technology. They are an increasingly popular forum to bring together people with technical backgrounds, form teams around a problem or idea and collaboratively code a unique solution from scratch. These generally take the shape of a website or mobile app.

For 24 hours, 350 students from around the world will use tech creativity to solve community issues while engaging in activities such as laser tag, a silent disco, yoga and more. Plus, plenty of energy drinks and lots and lots of food await.

A variety of technologies will be available, such as Pebbles, Sparkcores, Leap Motions, Muse, Arduinos, Oculus Rifts, Myos, Amazon Fire Phones, Fitbits and other cool tools that students can check out and use in solving important social challenges.

Huskie HackStudents from disciplines other than computer science and engineering to are highly encouraged to attend (although all are welcome, and those majors have been signing up).

And those who normally run from coding and technology should not worry: This event will bring the experts and encourages participants to learn, try, touch, participate and engage in active problem solving in a fun, non-threatening way.

The point is to engage and work as an interdisciplinary team – everyone has their own unique experiences and frames of reference in addressing challenges

The event, supported by the divisions of Information Technology and Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development, has involved NIU community members from numerous offices, departments and colleges. Outside supporters include Major League Hacking and Code for America, two nationally recognized entities invested in the promotion of civic hacking and coding for community good and transparency in government.

For more information, call (815) 753-2090 or email [email protected].