McLean has its first ever hackathon

The Hack McLean club hosted the first ever McLean Hackathon and it went amazingly.

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McLean has its first ever hackathon

The Hack McLean club hosted a successful event.

The Hack McLean club hosted a successful event.

The Hack McLean club hosted a successful event.

The Hack McLean club hosted a successful event.

Sam Naemi, Reporter

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The first ever McLean High School Hackathon took place on March 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lecture Hall. The event was run by the McLean Hack Club, junior Andy Sharpe (Director of education), sophomore Sophia Powell (President), junior Gloria Sun (Vice-president) and sophomore Amelia Zhug (Treasurer).

The goal of a hackathon is to create usable software or hardware with the goal of creating a functioning product by the end of the event. Hackathons tend to have a specific focus, which can include the programming language or the subject of what they are coding about. This hackathon focused on supporting and improving the environment.

“[The secondary goal for the event was] to get people interested in coding, to educate people in coding, and for everyone to have fun,” Sharpe said.

The event was a long time coming and the club leaders were worried it wouldn’t go well.

“I was pretty excited, most of it was nerves. I was really stressed out though, just because we created the club this year and it’s never been done before at McLean,” Sharpe said.

The preparation to make sure this event run well was extensive.

“All of us created flyers, PowerPoints, Google Forms, asking teachers for space, computers–a whole lot things went into it,” Sharpe said. “We stayed up until 2 a.m. this morning making sure everything was good.”

The atmosphere in the Lecture Hall was amazing, filled with music, productive chatter and frantic typing. All the tables were full with a food counter and the leaders walking around making sure people weren’t having any trouble. The adult chaperone, Ginnie Quarry-Ward, welcomed visitors to explain the event.

She got involved with this event because “[Sophia Powell] asked me and I was free so I said yes,” Quarry said.

Around 52 people showed up to the event., which was way higher than they projected to show up a week before.

“Everybody is working hard, doing a very good job, and creating very interesting and impressive ideas and programs, so I would count that as a success,” Sharpe said.

One front row group seemed to be really concentrating and their screens.

“Right now we are working on a program that’s basically finding tweets within some radius of McLean and its finding the tweets that contains certain keywords and those tweets that contain certain keywords we are going to mark and put on a map,” junior Seth Eshraghi said.

Eshraghi noted that hackathons are really practically useful.

“Hackathons are closer to the characteristics that you mind find in a computer science job,” Eshraghi said.

These students have the ambition to transform the McLean Coding community into something colleges can’t miss.