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hackBCA: Back and Better Than Ever

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Students participating in hackBCA work on their projects in BCA’s gymnasium.

High school programmers from both BCA and across the country flocked to BCA recently for hackBCA II, our school’s own twenty-four hour hackathon.  Alongside the young hackers were representatives from sponsors like Intel, Make School, and Rutgers, who aided them along the way.  Some of the winning projects include an app that could gauge whether or not one has a concussion, a Java game involving chemistry, and an app that could map out potholes.

The winning hack was a program that could teach piano using a Pixy camera and keys with stickers.  The winning BCA students won a paid trip to HackNTU, a hackathon in Taiwan, along with Razer keyboards and phone cases.

The hackathon originally started as an idea from Jared Zoneraich, a senior in ATCS last year.  This year’s sequel was wildly popular after the success of last year’s event.  The event drew in many students from BCA, but also high school students from Bergen County, New York, Philadelphia, and cities even farther away. The key students involved in organizing this flawless event were the Board, consisting of Jared Zoneraich, Edmon Berry, Kenneth Rhee, Sarah Nathanson, Ben Judd, Robert Kim, Steven McKinless, Hyobin Im, and Allyson Young, under the supervision of Mr. Respass, BCA’s new computer science teacher.  With their leadership and the help of the staff, the six hundred attendees, ranging from beginner hackers to the experienced staff, all enjoyed a fun-filled hackathon.

“hackBCA was honestly one of the most fun experiences I’ve had at BCA.”  said one ATCS freshman.  “It gave me an opportunity to not just explore new projects, but to spend time with my friends in a carefree environment.”

Danny Yim, a freshman in engineering, commented: “The time limit imposed was definitely a huge motivation factor. I was determined to accomplish some work during hackBCA, and, to say the least, I made a lot of progress and learned new things. The mentors and support staff were really helpful in encouraging me and helping me through the project.”  Many attendees showed similar satisfaction with the hackathon.

The now annual school hackathon, one of the biggest events of the year, is sure to rake in not just sponsors and new fans for BCA, but also new opportunities for students.  The growing publicity of hackBCA brings in more skilled mentors and bigger sponsors, which, when helping students, providws greater opportunities for young people that could send them far in life.

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hackBCA: Back and Better Than Ever