How 100 Students Under The Age of 25 Engineered Climate Solutions at h2hacks

h2hacks flyer

When we heard about h2hacks we were beyond excited to learn about an environmental civic hackathon happening right there in the hustle & bustle of Brooklyn, New York.

h2hacks hosted its first-ever hackathon on September 14, 2019. The hackathon consisted of several themes around environmental conservation, education/awareness, and sustainability.

The event was a social good programming competition aiming to mobilize high school students across the east coast to make a difference in their communities and put them on a track to become positive contributors in the future.

The event had workshops from the Facebook Developer Circle and Make School, as well as an environmental panel with high-profile industry leaders and professionals from ThinkOcean Global, EarthEcho International, Coastal Steward Long Island, and Sustainable United Neighborhoods.

Inside Scoop

Arantza Orengo Green, Sales/Culture Consultant & Art Curator at Experimental Civics, attended the event to catch all of the excitement first-hand.

Arantza Orengo Green, Experimental Civics

She shared, “What I found the most inspiring, aside from the projects developed, and how talented and dedicated the students were, was the sense of community.

There were students from every coding level, teams that attended the hackathon together and other teams that were grouped together on the spot, everyone participated and had a role in the projects, and for me that was the driving force along with their skills.

Seeing how they all worked together and brought out the best of each other to create and present projects was inspiring to see. This sense of community, innovation and design thinking in our young generations is what is going to translate into action and change in the future.

Photo Credit: Arantza Orengo Green

Founder Reflections

We also caught up with the Founder, Ryan Lee, on his reaction, reflections, and vision with the event.

When asked about which moment was a highlight for him, he shared:

“One of our student teams created Breathable, an IoT hack that detects and provides the air quality index. I was really excited by how this team of high school students managed to learn and create such an amazing project in just 15 hours.”

Photo Credit: h2hacks

We also asked Ryan how he thought h2hacks fitted into the larger space of building solutions for our climate crisis:

“Today’s youth will drive forward our future and h2hacks is the spark that ignites them to do so. By providing them with the tools and resources to make a difference in the world, we start them on a pathway to continue working towards a brighter future even after our event doors close.”

Ryan Lee, Founder of h2hacks

Lastly, we asked Ryan, if there was one thing he would want folks to know from his event, what would it be:

“Regardless of whether they won an award or not, I want everyone who came to our event to have learned something new and be able to use their new skills to create more innovative projects in the future.”

Announcing the Winners!

Alright, so let’s get to those projects, here are the winners! Congrats to everyone who participated, donated their skills, experimented with their ideas, and pushed the boundaries of their learning!

All projects can be found here:

Best Environmental Conservation Hack : Where’s My Water?

After detecting the location of the user, our program accesses our database of public water fountains and bathrooms. It then overlays the locations of the water fountains and bathrooms on the google sheets, along with the reviews from our users through crowdsourcing.

Best Sustainability Hack : Breathable

Breathable is an IOS application that projects to the user various statistics of the air quality in their environment. It also includes helpful resources like a quiz that would educate users of the severity of air pollution in their environment.

Best Education/Awareness Hack : Sortle

Sortle scans objects held to the webcam by the user in order to direct them to a recycling or e-waste center near them.

Best Beginner Hack : Air

Air is an educational website that emphasizes fun learning while raising awareness of the condition of our earth.

If you’re not sitting in your seat, applauding these champions, now is your chance! We have so much hope and promise for these brilliant minds.

Photo Credit: Arantza Orengo Green


Congratulations to all of the teams who participated. We are so proud of your work and we were thrilled to be warmly invited to support you. Keep on the great work and we can’t wait for your event in Spring 2020.

Side note: We LOVE to see these ideas come to Capsule. Experimental Civics partnered with TechTogether, The Earth Hacks Foundation, Zero Waste Strategies, and a growing list of others to stage the largest hackathon in the world focused on our climate crisis.

We need all ages, minds, skill levels, and passionate humans in the room. Check out our teaser video and sign up for more information via our “Attend” button on our website:

Can You Find Yourself In Any Of These Pics? Comment Below!

Photo Credit: h2hacks

Experimental Civics

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We design spaces for people to experiment with their ideas.

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