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Tuesday, 30 December 2014 00:00

Club Hosts Inaugural Code Event

NOTE: The terms “hacker,” “hack,” and “Hack-A-Thon” in this article are not related to computer attacks. Within the context of this article, to “hack” refers to “hacking away” at or developing a multi-faceted technological project.

The Club joined forces with Foundation and Hacker Fund to sponsor its first code event as an integral part of what the Club offers our students everyday: an opportunity for meaningful growth.

Some 25 technology mentors (aka, professional hackers) gathered together wearing their one-piece pajamas, costume hats, and hoodies for the 24-hour event at the Club in Boyle Heights. The 75 participating LAUSD high school students did not attend the event to get a job, accomplish a school project, or do service hours. They left the comfort of their homes during Christmas vacation to learn from experts, network with other students, experience new technology, create useful projects, and, if needed, sleep on the hardwood floor of the gym.

Students learned about 3D printing through creating a project using CAD (computer aided design), sending the data to one of the six available 3D printers, setting up the material, and then watching their creations being built before their eyes. Students built their own web pages and created apps with the guidance of the mentors. Whether engineering high tech Christmas ornaments or programming for Oculus Rift (yes, there were 4 sets of these virtual reality headsets!), the students had the opportunity to learn and experience technology as creators and not mere consumers.

“Here at the Club,” says Director Br. Tom, “we get excited about these events because it really transforms students’ lives. Most students have never heard of a coding event and now they are part of a bigger movement around technology.” Inspiring young people to do great things is the mission of the Club. The Club is blessed with such an incredible opportunity to inspire students to transform the world through technology. Don Bosco would be proud of these students!!

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