36-hour hackathon hosted by Brampton’s SPARK group

A photo from SPARK 2019 - SPARK held a virtual event this year (Source: SPARK)

A 36-hour virtual hackathon this weekend attracted 150 students from 45 school teams across Ontario. The event was hosted by the STEAM Project Association of Research and Knowledge (SPARK), an initiative started in 2018 by local Brampton students.

Students were tasked to use technology to create ideas, hacks, and business plans relating to mental health. The event featured a Design Thinking with Marvel workshop, an MIT AppInventor workshop hosted by Brampton Library, and a Mental Health Misconceptions workshop.

Hackathons provide opportunities for students to collaborate on projects and show results over a short period of time. At this year’s SPARK event, students (a.k.a. hackers) networked, participated in organized events including a Pokemon Showdown Tournament, Kahoot virtual quizzes, and a Virtual Escape Room designed by Brampton Library.

In his keynote speach, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown commended the organizers and expressed his excitement about innovation happening in Brampton.

SPARK provides youth with opportunities to get involved in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics through events and initiatives like their annual hackathons. The group is supported by the City of Brampton, and are recipients of the #RisingYouth grant. To learn more about them, visit startthespark.ca.

Ananya Jaikumar is a Corporate Relations representative at SPARK and was also the host of the Design Thinking Workshop this year.

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