This blog is the first post in our event spotlight series, chronicling what happens at various Earth Hacks events and providing insight into the impact these events have and the metrics they produce. To get in touch with us or learn more, visit our website at earthhacks.io.
Earth Hacks was proud to support our first high school hackathon, called h2hacks. Featuring wicked cool branding and a dedicated team of student organizers, the event took place on September 14 in Brooklyn, New York, and attracted over 100 attendees.
The theme of the event — perhaps unsurprisingly, given the enthusiastic support of Earth Hacks — was leveraging technology to solve environmental issues. The hackathon included a workshop on how to predict sea level rise with machine learning models, another one focusing on advancing tech careers, and even a panel on integrating technology with environmental conservation, hosted by ThinkOcean Global and Sustainable United Neighborhoods.
Ryan Lee, one of the founders of the event, shared some of his thoughts after seeing h2hacks come to life.
When I first launched h2hacks, I had no idea whether we’d even succeed or fail. But I still wanted to try, so that I could allow other students the chance to start on a pathway to becoming social entrepreneurs and innovators. Fast forward to September 2019 and in our first event, h2hacks Save the World, we’ve partnered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, featured regional environmental leaders to come as guest speakers, and had over 100 high school students from six different states come to build innovative projects to fight climate change. I’m really impressed by the outcome of our hackathon, and I’m excited to continue leading our initiative!
Projects created ranged from hardware devices to websites, apps, and games. 4 winners displayed an impressive amount of skills in their hacks:
Where’s my water?
“Where’s my water” won the best environmental conservation hack, and accesses a database of public water fountains and bathrooms to help people find these resources. You can learn more about the project here, and try it out using the link at the bottom of that linked page.
“Sortle” won the best education/awareness hack, and is a website that educated people on why, how, and where they should recycle things. The result of the hackathon was a “scanner” that uses machine vision to tell the user whether or not something can be recycled or composted. You can learn more about the project here.
“Breathable” won best sustainability hack, and is an iOS app that that projects various aspects of environmental air quality to the user. You can learn more about the project here, and check out the Github repo at the bottom of that linked page.
“Environmentair” won best beginner hack. It is an informative website that emphasizes fun learning and raises awareness of environmental issues. You can access the Github repo for the project here.