hillsHacks was born with a mission: to show that computer science is something anyone can learn. It's more than memorizing technical jargon and stuffing code into machines. CS is for innovators, creators, problem solvers, artists, and you.
Rather than leave you alone expecting a full-fledged product launch at the end of the day, we'll guide you through the learning process with workshops from Watchung Hills alumni. Plus, we'll provide you one-on-one mentorship and an opportunity to listen in and ask questions about tech during our Panel Q&A session. Deviating from the traditional hackathon, there will be two tracks: code and no-code, with a greater emphasis on ideas and how technology can be used for good. Participants can win generous cash prizes, too!This is the fourth iteration of hillsHacks, Watchung Hills' premier hackathon open to grades 6 through 12.
Can you spend a day without using some form of technology developed in the last 5 years? It would probably be difficult - technology has completely changed the way we live our lives. Regardless of your experience, you will learn something new at hillsHacks about how computer science is being used all around us - often in things we take for granted! All students grade 6 and up are welcome.
hillsHacks will run as a hybrid event. All attendees may attend in-person at the high school or virtually via Zoom. Even though things will be different this year, we'll strive for an authentic experience that retains the spirit of hacking!
The event will take place on Saturday, June 5, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. We've got an action-packed schedule ahead, so sign up now! (see below for details)
hillsHacks is completely free!
No problem! We highly encourage beginners to come, and our workshops will give you opportunities to learn about fundamental CS concepts. After creating an idea as part of the no-code hackathon track, you'll be ready to implement it on your own!
Participate in the traditional hackathon track or take a look at some of our advanced workshops! Also, we recommend you to actively engage during our Panel Q&A session (this applies to beginners too!)
Absolutely! As part of the hackathon you can work solo or in teams of up to four individuals. Teams will be formed prior to the event, so make sure all members sign up!
The signup form will remain open until June 4th at noon. This is so we can get a better feel of who will be attending.
hillsHacks begins with the opening ceremony, where we'll introduce the theme of the hackathon and go over the schedule for the rest of the event. In the panel discussion, our CS experts will be ready to answer any questions you have about computer science in high school, college, or even in the workplace.
Computer science is, at its core, a toolset and mindset for modeling and solving problems. In this workshop, we will explore concepts, questions, truths, and areas of theory which comprise this discipline. Get an early look at the principles taught in every collegiate CS curriculum, and learn what it means to think like a computer scientist.
Python is a flexible programming language that can be extremely efficient when implemented properly. In this workshop, we will run through a 'hello world' style example of how one can use Python to compute the constant pi via Monte Carlo sampling.
Emulators are typically a type of software which allow a host machine to behave like another. In this workshop, we will develop the fundamentals required to start an emulation project by exploring introductory computer system architecture. We will use the GameBoy as a reference to deepen our understanding.
Present your pitch as part of the hackathon event. Prizes will be awarded to the best projects!
hillsHacks wraps up with an announcement of the winners and distribution of prizes!