Our Education theme and new location brought out over 75 participants for HackVT 2016. And after 24 hours of plotting and planning and coding, nineteen teams competed for four cash prizes. Apps ranged from help with finding study buddies to using artificial intelligence to enhance online learning.
Take a moment to scroll through and see what our hackers came up with:
FIRST PRIZE WINNER - CODE SHEPHERD
In creating Code Shepherd, Team TBD sought to support teachers who have access to technology and want to provide technology-based learning to their students but are not necessarily experts in the available technology themselves. Code Shepherd links technology professionals with students in a virtual classroom that provides the option for professionals to check work, follow along with a student’s progress, and engage directly in video chats within the system.
SECOND PRIZE WINNER - VITA
Graduates of Bennington College, this two-person team created an app to provide better learning experiences for students in online courses. Using artificial intelligence and sentiment analysis, the app analyzes student conversations to provide accountability and opportunities for better understanding and problem solving when students have trouble with the material.
THIRD PRIZE WINNER - PATHFINDER
These Daft Labs employees focused their app development on helping students identify a career path forward in an attempt to reduce the number of graduates who find themselves in debt and unhappy about their career choices. Pathfinder uses psychological and skills analysis to empower students to make meaningful connections in their community by recommending businesses to reach out to for mentorship or internships and colleges with relevant programs.
STUDENT PRIZE - HOMESCHOLAR
This student team from Norwich University (including one 14-year old little sister!) built an app to create connections between homeschooling students in the same geographic area. The app allows homeschoolers and their parents to submit and share events and resources into a geolocation app that can be accessed by other homeschoolers.
HackVT 2015: Hack the Climate resulted in more than just a room filled with very tired people. We walked away with some promising new applications and a greater understanding of how technology can be used to help the average person feel empowered to address climate change.
We hope you’ll take some time to scroll through the photos and descriptions below and learn a bit about the apps developed by our creative participants. If you’re interested in learning more about any of the apps or their creators, please emailKatie@vermont.org for contact information.
We would like to credit and thank Doug Goodman Photography for taking and contributing these photos.
First Prize Winner: One Day
Created by Team ManBearPig, made up primarily of employees of C2 Competitive Computing, this winning app allows the user to log onto their online profile and answer questions that will give them a better understanding of their daily carbon footprint. The web application also provides an educational component, notifying the user of the climate change impacts of their behavior and potential carbon savings.
Second Prize Winner: Recommute
Designed to help the user recommend alternative commuting modes and challenge their friends to ever greener travel, this mobile app was created by a team from Daft Labs. Users gain points for travel modes that produce less carbon, and a future version of the app could include direct contributions among users to offset emissions.
Third Prize Winner: AEMMOS (Autonomous EMissions Monitoring System)
The only app that included hardware, AEMMOS uses a drone and a raspberry pi to test methane levels in difficult-to-reach areas, like landfills or large farm fields. The app was created by Team System 42, the only out-of-state team (Massachusetts), to help Vermont reach its 2050 emissions goals. The methane-testing interface reads GPS location from the drone and communicates waypoints via Google Maps.
Student Prize Winner: Grow
Created by three students from Bennington College, Grow is a food sharing app designed to help individuals sell or purchase local food, with a focus on the reduced carbon footprint that comes from consuming local, organically grown food as opposed to processed foods. Like a community garden in cyberspace, the app would allow the user to sell/barter/give away extra produce or homemade food items to neighbors within a 2 mile radius.
Other Presenters Alphabetically:
CadetSec: Hitch a Ride
A 2-person student team from Norwich University created Hitch A Ride to encourage ride sharing. The app measures amount of carbon dioxide saved, gallons of gas and money saved, as well as provides points for using cars with better gas mileage.
Essex STEM: Green Up App
The sole high school team created Green Up App, an application that allows residents to notify waste collectors of the location of green trash bags on the side of the road after Green Up Day using geolocation software.
Every Time We Touch I Get This Null Pointer: Maple Tycoon
The student team from Vermont Tech created a gaming simulation app that allows the user to take on the role of an industrialist building a maple syrup operation. The user must respond to climate change impacts and other challenges while working to create revenue.
Middlebury Sophomores (Did Not Present)
A student team from Middlebury College created an educational app geared toward informing elementary-age students about the causes and impacts of climate change.
This team of software engineers used climate change data to create a visual representation of sea levels rising. Their hope was to help individuals gain a better understanding of the real impacts of climate change on communities important to them.
Using transportation impacts data, the team from Dealer.com created a web-based urban planning game that allows the player to rearrange sections of road on a set landscape to minimize the negative effects of traffic, such as idling at stop lights.
Unreferenced Local Variable: EcoBuilders
With a focus on mitigation, this student team from Champlain College created a game that requires the player to respond to climate change events by finding an appropriate solution to reach a state of environmental equilibrium. One of the participants wrote a blog post about the app and their experience. You can find that here.
Voight-Kampff Crakers: Influence
This team of four from Green Mountain Software focused on helping individuals create an impact on climate change legislation by creating an app that aggregates and sorts legislation and allows users to search bills, find out votes, and share their positions on social media.