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Hack-a-thon brings computer coding to Fowler high school

Hack-A-Thon
Maxwell Mimaroglu
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PSLA Fowler 9th and 10th graders participate in a Hack-A-Thon at Le Moyne College, Mar 16th 2022, Syracuse, New York.

Syracuse high schools are using coding skills to elevate student voices. Students from Fowler High School took part in a hack-a-thon to develop digital projects that communicate through visual characters in given situations. Student hacker Madison Thompson created a goblin that explains how too much time spent on social media can lead to lost friendships and social isolation

“The goblin says, ‘Man everything seems so fake on social media these days the classmates I go to school with every day don’t even seem to want to talk to me. I wish I could rekindle with the people I used to know.’ Thompson said.

The day-long event – or hack-a-thon – took place at Le Moyne College. Students were led by the nonprofit Tech4Kidz. Founder Pamela Puri said the experience teaches students how to use digital skills positively.

“For a lot of them, this is the first time that they are seeing how to make a computer do something and understanding that, that actually can be easier than they think and if they learn how to communicate with a computer using programming language than they can create all sorts of things that they want,” Puri said.

Puri said the students spent weeks in the classroom building their coding skills. She and other educators at Le Moyne and city schools hope the students will continue to explore computer coding and consider it as a career track.

The final projects will be judged based on a rubric and the top three will receive awards.