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Regional students take part in Hackathon

A group of southwest Minnesota students traveled to Woodbury on Nov. 3 to take part in the first-ever Hackathon. (Submitted photo by Dan Harrington)

WOODBURY — Washington County Library hosted teens who tested and tinkered with wearable technology at its first-ever Teen Hackathon on Nov. 3.

Twenty-one teenagers and eight mentors from the southwest Minnesota region boarded the bus early Saturday morning to take part in the coding event. The hackers spent the whole day designing and coding projects with wearable technology. Mainstream examples of wearable technology today include items like fitness trackers, the Apple Watch and Google Glass.

Volunteer mentors worked with each group helping teens brainstorm through the design process, research and troubleshoot challenges. Mentors also helped their group present the finished wearable tech project to an audience. Pizza, water, sodas and snacks were provided throughout the day.

All students and mentors checked into registration and then split into groups. The library staff discussed what it meant to be a creator and provided examples of wearable technology. The students were provided an hour to think about what kind of project the wanted to create, and were then given kits with which they could brainstorm about what to create.

After they developed their concepts, the teams then discussed why their wearable tech would be useful or exciting. Creating and coding on projects took place over the remainder of the day. At 4 p.m., all teams gathered and were provided the opportunity to present their project to parents, mentors, library staff and public.

The Teen Hackathon fiend trip was co-sponsored by Nobles County Integration Collaborative, Minnesota West Worthington and CoderDojo SWMN.