In five days, more than 600 students from roughly 100 schools across the country will descend upon Happy Valley for HackPSU‘s eighth hackathon in its four year history. A hackathon is a competition in which students group up into teams to code the best web apps, mobile apps, and various hardware projects in a certain amount of time.
Hackathons have swept the country in recent years as a way for students of all ages to be exposed to coding, technology, and to even be recruited by companies for internships and full-time jobs.
HackPSU is Penn State’s free 24-hour hackathon and this year students who code the best apps will receive thousands of dollars and numerous prizes for individual challenges. This year, HackPSU will be sponsored by IBM, Optum, and Invent Penn State, President Barron’s entrepreneurship initiative. “It is an amazing experience for both networking and building technical skills,” said Dylan Woodward, one of HackPSU’s organizers.
All students are encouraged to attend, regardless of experience. During the event, there will even be workshops to educate students about many different technology-related fields such as data science, virtual reality, and web development. The companies sponsoring will be sending expert mentors to who will teach students how to use their hardware and programs.
“We have a lot of workshops,” said Smith Sopp, the Director of HackPSU. “So we really push for people trying something new and not being afraid to step outside the boundaries a little bit.”
On top of being completely free, students in attendance will even be thoroughly caffeinated and fed throughout the entire event to ensure that they can make it through the whole 24-hours.
Students who want to stay the whole time or attend for a brief spell, even if you just want to check out what a hackathon is like, are encouraged to sign up here. The hackathon will be hosted in the Smeal College of Business starting at Saturday, Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. and will run until Sunday, Nov. 13 at 4:30 p.m.