SPARTA, NJ - Later on this month, the Sparta Township high school and middle school students will compete in the district’s first ever hackathon, called "HackSpartan." The event will be a weekend-long, virtual event, slated to take place on April 24th and April 25th.

Sparta High School juniors Laurel Ferguson and Sarah Bargfrede organized this event.  The pair are co-presidents of the Sparta High School Girls Who Code club.  Margaret Incantalupo is the club’s advisor.
"Laurel and Sarah are both talented AP Computer Science students, who are passionate about encouraging other students to become involved in computer science,” Incantalupo said. “Their planning and organizing of this virtual hackathon has been the result of their enthusiasm for the subject, and demonstrates their outstanding project management skills and teamwork." 

A hackathon is an event that brings together creative thinkers, individually or with teams to submit a “hack” answering one of two challenges. A hack could include, but is not limited to: a computer program like a website demo or mobile app, a prototype, or a product model/design. These hacks can be built using programming, engineering or design-thinking.

The challenges are Innovation with a Positive Global Impact, open to all middle and high school students and the echoAR challenge available to competitors at least 13-years-old.

The event is completely beginner-friendly and open to any students currently enrolled in Sparta Middle School or Sparta High School. No STEM experience is required to submit a hack. Hacks are judged on innovation and relative difficulty, while HackSpartan emphasizes the ability for people of all skill sets and backgrounds to participate.

Focused on building skill and experience in the STEM field, HackSpartan will give students the chance to immerse themselves in a growing, impactful industry according to event organizers. A hack that finishes in the top of the event will not only give students a great experience but also a an experience to share on their college applications.

HackSpartan is sponsored by echoAR, DIGITALBRILLIANT, Pizza One and  Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place hacks with two first place awards.  A $100 and a $50 Amazon gift card will be awarded to the first place winners, along with other prizes for all top three winners.

This challenge is perfect for any participant looking to try something new or gain some new skills according to organizers. All HackSpartan participants will have exclusive access to echoAR’s services to use during the Hackathon.

Organizers said hackathons are a great environment for students to apply their STEM skills outside of the classroom with total creative freedom, and HackSpartan provides a unique opportunity to gain and apply skills that expand beyond the students existing curriculum.

How can you participate?
Fill out the interest form, registration form and get additional information on the HackSpartan Website.

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