RALEIGH –  Hackathon Jr. is pleased to announce the partnership with HQ Raleigh, Vaco and Precision Hawk to provide an opportunity for students in the Wake County and surrounding communities to participate in a Hackathon Jr. event at HQ Raleigh on June 29.

The Hackathon Jr. team acknowledges diversity is not solely about race or gender, it is also about providing opportunities regardless of socioeconomic and or geographic disadvantages. With the disparity of access and equity of STEM education among children in rural communities, Hackathon Jr. is working towards making a change in these communities and with these children who are our future leaders.

Hackathon Jr. a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, is a new youth learning competition which encourages children ages 9-13 to engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.

What is a Hackathon?

A lot of people ask us, what is a Hackathon and why are we doing it with kids? The answer to why is easy: kids are the best innovators. As for what a Hackathon is, that is more difficult to explain. You see, the goal of a Hackathon is not to create a perfectly polished code or a finished app or game that works. The goal is to come up with the best possible solution to a real-world problem using technology.

We teach them to embrace a debugging mindset and to persevere when faced problems to take their ideas from concept to a prototype all in the span of an 8-hour day.  Our Junior Hackers work together in ways they never have before. They think outside the box, communicate effectively and share ideas with all who will listen.

The idea came from a collaboration of four doctoral students who were looking for a way to positively impact communication across generation while promoting empathy. Studies show that children immersed in technology have lower emotional intelligence. Our mission is to improve the emotional intelligence of children immersed in technology through collaboration and real-world skill application.

Each Hackathon Jr. event is a full day (9 am-6 pm) of workshops, hands-on coding instruction, Ted-style talks, mentoring, lunch and snacks, and competition focused on solving a community or social issue using technology (software programming-coding). Winners of our hackathon competitions will earn more than just a trophy, building on our team’s goal of education, the coders will compete for educational prizes to further their education in STEM.