A Hackathon is an event in which groups of people come together to solve a problem. The term is largely used in the tech industry to describe a fast-paced event in which computer programmers or “coders” work together to create a functioning product. During a Hackergal hackathon, groups of girls work together over a day to first learn how to use a game development platform and then create a functioning game. Exposing your students to coding and the rush of a hackathon is sure to inspire them from one year to the next.

who’s involved?

Teachers

Teachers are the backbone of this entire operation. Each school crowns a champion teacher to take on Hackergal once a year. Using Hackergal resources and brilliant teaching abilities, this teacher is responsible for organizing pre- and day-of event logistics, but may prompt other teachers to get involved.

Students

Students are the soul of the Hackergal hackathon. Students who are participating are expected to stay for a full 8-hour day, with lunch and snack breaks in between coding sessions.

Judges

Following the Hackergal hackathon, 3 judges, chosen by the champion teacher, will be appointed to evaluate games and provide feedback and awards. Judges may be fellow teachers, alumni students, or members of the school who work in the tech industry.

Hackathon Partner

Our generous hackathon partner is the motor of Hackergal. Students and teachers will have the opportunity to learn how to use the designated platform prior, during and following the hackathon, so they can get a better understanding of what it means to code, free of charge!

Hackergal team

The Hackergal team is the heart of this project. They strongly believe in closing the gender gap in the tech industry and giving young girls the opportunity to thrive in a tech-based environment. While they do not take part in the planning or execution of the actual hackathon event, they’ve worked with the top educators and leaders in the tech industry to create a seamless and exciting program for teacher and students alike.

Full engagement process

the gamification process

Hackergal is not about winners and losers. It is about completing the hackathon to the best of one’s ability. We aim to challenge students to do their best by providing them with participation badges, strength acknowledgement awards that students choose themselves, as well as skill-based awards that are awarded by judges based on the Hackergal rubric. We believe that every student can contribute to the tech industry in one way or another, and by emphasizing their strengths in a particular skill will help encourage them to pursue this skill further.

acknowledgement badges

Acknowledgement badges are given to the students to mark their level of participation. Additional badges are chosen by the girls to mark what they feel they have accomplished in terms of leadership, innovation, etc.

the levels

We don’t believe that age can dictate knowledge. This is why Hackergal is not split up by age, but by experience. Girls are randomly placed in teams that may have students from all grades, but share the same amount of Hackergal experience. Girls will make their way up each year to a new title, with criteria becoming more difficult by level of experience.

graduate mentor program

One of the main results we aim to see through hosting Hackergal hackathons is the increase of registrations into Grade 10 Computer Sciences courses. To help remind girls of their time in Hackergal and their positive experience with technology, we welcome teachers to offer volunteer opportunities for Grade 9 girls who have graduated from their school and the Hackergal program to help younger grades during the hackathon. Students will be able to collect volunteer hours from assisting with the project.

What’s Included in the Hackergal Program?

  1. Hackergal-branded Virtual Kit to create the ultimate hackathon experience
  2. Student and teacher access to Hackathon partner platform
  3. Discount for Hackergal teachers and students on Hackathon partner licenses following the event
  4. Access to our online Community, connecting Hackergals across Ontario

how does the virtual kit work?

The Hackergal Virtual Kit is branded with everything you need as a teacher to make the Hackergal Hackathon happen. We provide you with the tools to build the program in your own school, such as step-by-step To Dos for champion teachers, the Hackergal theme announcement and criteria rubrics, the acknowledgement awards for students, and more! Each year is different, so no Hackergal is ever the same! As we grow, so will the program!

what’s in it for the girls?

Girls gain knowledge and courage! They are introduced to technology development before deciding what courses to take in high school. The girls will be exposed to real life applications when it comes to understanding how problems are solved at the core root of every mobile app or game. They are empowered to pursue careers in technology.

They build transferable problem solving and technology skills.

Their career opportunities increase with the market demand.

They are well equipped with real-world skills for real-world jobs.

OUR WICKEDLY SUCCESSFUL 2015 HACKATHON

Check out last year’s hackathon and reactions. The girls had a wonderful time and their educators were incredibly happy to give them this opportunity!

The girls (are) developing programming and problem solving skills, life skills, things that they can use outside of math and science.

Kyle Cardinale, Upper School Computer Science & Mathematics Teacher

Hackergal represents a metaphor for the way young girls look at (technology) development.

Ray Sharma

We very much want to see our girls taking advantage of this. It very much encourages problem solving and division making.

Helen-Kay Davy, Havergal Principal

I have seen these girls have a lot of fun today and the most rewarding thing that I have seen is where the lightbulb goes on.

Keith Townend, Havergal IT Director

It was really amazing to learn something new and different that I wouldn’t learn during the school year. I think it’s really important to me that I learned something new today.

Grade 8 Havergal student

Some of my friends didn’t do it and I think that they should do it because then you kinda get a beginning of if you wanna take it in grade 9 or 10 in the Tech course! And then you kinda know if you like this stuff or not. Yeah, I’d recommend it!

Grade 8 Havergal student

So there were a lot of nerves and then they started programming and their confidence started going up.They started thinking “I can do this, I can solve this!”

Kyle Cardinale, Upper School Computer Science & Mathematics Teacher

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