Preparing for a Hackathon

I am part of an initiative team at my library that is in the process of organizing a Teen Hackathon. The topic we are focusing on is wearable technology. Teens will be able to create their own wearable technology in teams. It’s an all-day event with 100 teens and 20+ volunteers.

The initiative is led by our teen services librarian and includes librarians and library assistants from several libraries. Some of the team is working on the organizational aspects of the event, including scheduling, catering, prizes, and communication with the volunteers.

The other half of the team is the technology side. This is made up of the teen services librarian, a youth services librarian, and myself. None of us are experts on this technology. We are learning it together using online resources.



It looks intimidating, and it does require a bit of patience. We are fortunate enough to have an engineer on staff to help troubleshoot, but there are plenty of resources available online.

In the video, I’m troubleshooting a coding error. The code was written to play an mp3 when trigger 2 was activated. After some playing around, I discovered that it was looking for trigger 4 to be activated. The song that plays is from the Voyager Golden Record. Most of the coding is available online, so you can just copy and paste it.

The equipment was purchased through AdaFruit and SparkFun. Both sites have tutorials and the code needed to make each device work. We are using library laptops for the coding portion of the event.

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