Tag Archives: workshop

All Star Code Hosts First Hackathon, All Star Hacks!

On December 12th, over 70 high school students traveled to General Assembly’s offices in NYC for a day of learning and coding. All Star Hacks was All Star Code’s first hackathon focusing on the diversification of the tech sector.

I helped to organize the hackathon in collaboration with All Star Code. It was smooth, simple, and easy. We didn’t have a lot of time to organize the event, but it was an incredible success in no small part due to the participation of the wonderful All Stars and staff at All Star Code.

My favorite part of All Star Hacks was the Intro to Coding workshop. Many of our participants were first time hackers. Watching the excitement on their faces, capturing their feelings of wonder on camera, and seeing their finished hacks of awesomeness was amazing.

I invited a number of students from my school. Seeing them enveloped in the workshop, keeping themselves involved and amazed was beautiful to behold. Seeing Charles, a freshman from my school, making friends with other first time hackers made me incredibly happy.

Though we ended the hackathon a bit early, bringing together a large number of diverse first time hackers was enough to solidify the success of the event. At All Star Hacks, we gave students a taste of beauty in the tech world. I saw them leave General Assembly that day with a feeling to cultivate that into something bigger.

Written by Surendra, 2015 All Star

All Star Hacks

A special thanks to the All Star Hacks team including all of our alumni organizers and leader mentors, Isaiah Greene from Google and Phil Marshall from the Paley Center for Media as well as our generous hosts at General Assembly!

Young Hackers Collaborate with All Star Code on Local Hack Day

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Most high school students would do very little besides sleep in on a Saturday morning. But on October 10th, over 60 high school students traveled to the Flatiron District for a day of coding. Local Hack Day is a global hackathon, and The Young Hackers participated by hosting their own Local Hack Day at General Assembly.

High School students from across the city, many of whom were first time hackers, sat anxiously in their seats waiting for the event to begin. NYC’s CTO, Minerva Tantoco, gave awesome opening remarks, reminding the hackers how important their work is, and wishing them luck.

After our Co-Founder Mamadou Diallo gave some additional remarks, the hacking began. Students were forced out of their comfort zones, as many of them didn’t know anyone at the hackathon. They quickly made friends, and soon after teams were solidified. The atmosphere was electric. A constant flow of snacks kept the hackers energized and a series of introductory workshops ensured that every hacker was well equipped, regardless of their prior knowledge of coding.

We had a particularly intense beginner workshop for hackers starting from scratch. When they finished and re-entered the room, everyone in the space applauded them and welcomed them to the Young Hacker family.

Diverse programming kept the spirit and creativity up, from longboard races with mentors to rap-battles with engineers. The sun began to set when dinner arrived, but crunch time was just beginning. Hackers worked hard to polish their projects and pitches one final time before they presented to our panel of judges.

The hackathon was only 12 hours long, but the outcome was amazing. The projects ranged from iPhone apps that made practicing Math fun, all the way to a 3D Frogger-esque escape game. After taking a massive group selfie with a selfie stick courtesy of Major League Hacking, everyone helped clean up before heading home with a new love for technology.

Check out all of the photos from Local Hack Day!

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World of Coding 2

This past Saturday, February 28th, All Star Code held a World of Coding (WoC II) workshop at Microsoft’s Times Square office. The day kicked off with a warm welcome from ASC’s Founder & Executive Director, Christina Lewis Halpern, and a great introduction into the Microsoft Youthspark program from Microsoft’s Operations & Community Manager, Antuan Santana. The ASC team & volunteers shared a few words about their roles and favorite technology, and then gave the floor to the first of four instructors for the day.

Our first instructor, Taofeek Rabiu, Senior Director of Engineering at Jibe Inc, spoke with enthusiasm about the power of having a “Hacking Mentality”, with several unique anecdotes about our perceptions of hackers. The students then broke into groups and selected themes for their own startups out of a hat. For example, one of the groups selected a ‘Health & Exercise’ theme and designed an app called MotivatorX that helps users with clean eating and workout tips.

Next up, Elissa Weinzimmer, Founder of Voice Body Connection, worked with the students on vocal, pitching and presentation skills in her Power of Self-Presentation module. With her suggestions and tips in mind, it was incredible to see the difference this module made in the quality of student pitches.

Following the short pitches, Max Weinbrown, Software Engineer at App Nexus, led a great session called The Power of Coding + Design, during which the students built twitter bots that showcased their startups.

Closing the day with great energy was Computer Science Instructor Sean Stern’s module, The Power of Robotics. During this final part of the workshop, students learned, using pre-installed computer software, how to program a robotic car to follow a specific list of commands, ultimately drawing the students’ first business logo.

With closing remarks and information about our Summer Intensive in tow, the students left Microsoft on high, excited about their continued pursuit of knowledge and experience in computer science. Check out some photos from the day and the social media recap of the workshop below.