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Arts / Hackathons / STEM / Youth

Independence Seaport Museum is hosting an emergency-weather hackathon

On Saturday, Sept. 7, teams of young people will present their plans for dealing with an emergency weather situation at the museum.

Independence Seaport Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Independence Seaport Museum)

Next week, the Independence Seaport Museum will invite young folks in for a simulated emergency management hackathon called the River Rise Challenge.

Teams or individuals between the ages of 14 to 21 will receive a detailed simulation of a weather-related emergency situation and will have one week to create a disaster plan, prototype design or web or mobile application that will help city residents cope with the damage.

The teams will present their projects Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Seaport Museum at an event that’s open to the public. Prizes such as a GoPro, GPS drone and iPad are up for grabs for winnings teams in four categories: Best Web/Mobile App, Best Prototype Design, Best Contingency/Disaster Plan and Rising Star.

The hackathon comes out of the museum’s makerspace, where STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) programs run year round for students interested in learning skills in those fields.

It’s why the hackathon competition is open to a young field, Joy Ude, the STEAM educator at the museum said. The River Rise Challenge projects can come from a range of ideas.

“We don’t want to scare people off who are thinking, ‘I have to know how to code or use 3D programing rendering,” Ude said. All skills and interests are welcome, and teams can be creative when it comes to problem solving the simulated emergency.

Broad details about the simulated, record-breaking flood have already been given to participating teams, but more details and a rubric will be released Friday. The projects should address problems that arise in situations of inclement weather, like an app that helps with communication during storms, or a solar-powered radio, Ude said.

Registration for the event is open until Friday, Aug. 30, and there’s space for about 10 more teams or individuals to register.

“We want to see them out and putting their creative problem solving minds on,” Ude said.

Companies: Independence Seaport Museum

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