Leslie Birch at NASA Space Apps 2013, the first hackathon she attended. Photo by Neal Santos.
Leslie Birch got her hackathon start at NASA Space Apps Philadelphia during last year’s Philly Tech Week.
Birch, a videographer who caught the hardware hacking bug after that hackathon, built an LED skirt that followed the orbit of the International Space Station.
The space hackathon was hosted in New York City, not Philly, this year, but Birch didn’t let that stop her. She put together a team (eight people from three different states) and headed to New York last weekend. Her team built a bracelet called Senti8 that connects astronauts with the smells they love on Earth. They won Best Use of Hardware and now they’re up for the global prize.
The team hacked an e-cigarette to distribute the scent, according to the website.
Birch also won an international wearable technology competition with her LED umbrella last fall.