On MLK Day (January 18, 2016), the Chicago team served the urban youth with the Blue1647 organization at the I-Have-a-Dream Hack-a-thon event. This event was an all day event, from 8 in the morning to 10 in the evening. Student participants, grades 7th-12th, learned how to code through creating prototype apps that addressed community problems. None of the youth were required to have prior coding experience, simply a deep curiosity in coding.
In honor of MLK Day, students identified community problems that were related to the issues that Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for. These community problems were violence and hate, voting rights, and unequal rights. The student participants worked closely with the BlueTeam and learned HTML and Materialize CSS to create their apps.
The first app was to join community members of disadvantaged backgrounds and provide them a space where they could advocate for each other. The second app was aimed to encourage young people to vote and provide them information in regards to voting. And the last app was geared towards decreasing hate crimes by promoting non-violence.
More importantly, all of our students had fun! They are looking forward already to attend another Hack-a-thon.