Software Development

This Penn student cofounded a national network of high school hackathons

Pilot, a national high school hackathon network, has already held hackathons in San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and now Philadelphia. It plans on hosting them in New York and Boston in early 2014.

Students at the PilotPhilly hackathon. (Photo by Angel Rivera)

It started last April with a hackathon at his high school in Northern Virginia.

Now, Penn freshman Alex Sands runs Pilot, a national network of high school hackathons, including last weekend’s PilotPhilly, which billed itself as the largest high school hackathon in the Northeast.

PilotPhilly attracted more than 200 high school students from as far as Massachusetts and Maryland, said Sands, who cofounded Pilot with his former high school classmate Mayank Jain. Pilot’s already held hackathons in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and plan on hosting them in New York and Boston in early 2014.

Hackathons are a “great way for students to learn applied computer science outside of the classroom,” said Sands, a computer science and finance major.

HackerChat, a collaboration platform for hackers, won PilotPhilly. Find a full list of winners here [pdf].

Philadelphia is also the home to PennApps, which calls itself the biggest undergraduate hackathon in the world.

Companies: University of Pennsylvania

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