In January of 2016, We Connect the Dots will be holding the 1st Annual International Back-to-School Hackathon, an event that will span nations and age groups around the globe, bringing together students from all walks of life to tackle global issues and learn invaluable technology skills. In an era where information technology rules the career landscape and greater numbers of jobs are requiring technology training, this event will be a giant leap forward for students that want an early start. 

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"But what is a Hackathon?" you might be asking, and we're glad you did. In a sense, a Hackathon is simply a way for people to come together to work on a problem by "hacking" or figuring out ways to use programming code to cleverly solve a problem or build an online presence, such as by constructing a website or application. What makes events like these so remarkable is that the team dynamics, the time constraints, and the mixture of talents often leads to incredibly innovative results. Hackathons begin with a problem or issue, develop around the effort to find a solution, and end with participants learning a lot about themselves and how advancing technology can make a positive impact on the world. 

A Hackathon is also a great opportunity to promote diversity, gender equality, and collaborative activity that spans racial and economic divides. We're accomplishing this using several methods. First, our Hackathon is open to all students ages 13-18, regardless of race, gender, skill level, or economic situation. Any student who wants to learn how to code and solve large scale problems is welcome. Second, we create the student teams that will compete during the Hackathon using a special algorithm that sorts students based on age, location, skill level, gender, and interests. In this way, we ensure that each team has a diverse makeup of males, and females, ethnicities and skills levels, ages and economic backgrounds. Third, our registration process requires that all students use fundraising to gather the funds they need to attend. Each students is given his or her own unique fundraiser page to which they can direct their donors. This factors out the hardship that some students face when their parents cannot afford to fund extracurricular programs. Rather than rely on a single source of funding, we give students the tools and the equipment they need to go out and seek funding from multiple sources. Additionally, we work to foster community relationships with organizations that believe in our mission and support our programs through sponsorship.

Make a contribution to the future workforce by telling them what they need to know to be successful in the future!

Make a contribution to the future workforce by telling them what they need to know to be successful in the future!

Our corporate sponsors are vital in ensuring we deliver the best possible programs to these bright, motivated young people eager to learn and grow. Not only does sponsorship provide funds necessary to execute programs, it also provides companies with brand recognition, PR opportunities, deep community engagement and talent development of public speaking, youth mentoring and team coaching skills. Learn more about our sponsorship programs and make the investment.

Learn more about the First Annual International Back-to-school Hackathon

Learn more about WCTD programs

AuthorLaurie Carey