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W.P. Sandin Hosts a Hackathon

May 8th the grade 6-8 girls at WP participated in a nationwide Hackathon hosted by Hackergal.

“Hackergal is a not-for-profit organization that introduces young girls across Canada to coding through the experience of a hackathon. With women vastly underrepresented in the tech industry all over the world, Hackergal strives to inspire a new wave of Canadian female coders to bring equality to the booming industry.” – hackergal.org

The WPS girls teamed up to solve a challenge based on health and wellness, the Hackergal theme for 2019. Their message was built into a short video game or interactive story and was coded using Python. Python is an object oriented programming language that the Computer Science courses in high school and University of Saskatchewan use.

Early in our day we connected with schools across Canada via a webinar. The girls waved at others and were inspired by female leaders in industry that spoke to a core group in Ottawa.  We learned that Hackathon’s are common practice in the computer science industry and we hope to host another event soon.

The girls gained experience and badges in teamwork, leadership, creativity, design, and coding. Throughout the day ‘tech trainer’ teachers and guests from the community supported the girls with encouragement, inspiration, and acted as our judges. The girls worked incredibly hard taking a pizza break for lunch as they explored logical thought processes, used their problem solving skills, and did lots and lots of troubleshooting. Frustration was not absent, but hard work is work worth doing!

During Hackergal, the grade 6-8 boys were engaged in team based imagination and physical activities during their “AwesomeGuy” event. At W.P. Sandin we offer Computer Science 20 to our high school students and we are planting the seed early that coding opens doors within many careers as we expose our younger students to these skills. The activities of the day met new robotics outcomes from our PAA curricula and representing strand outcomes from the ELA curricula. A bonus was the healthy living theme that was revealed on the day and how well it tied into Health curricula as well.