New Brunswick

Mount A hosts first environmental 'hackathon'

Mount Allison University will host its first hackathon Saturday, where students will learn, build, and pitch projects that focus on technology for environmental sustainability.

Students will pitch projects with an environmental twist

Graeme Zinck, a computer science student at Mount Allison, is head of the organizing team. (Submitted/Graeme Zinck)

Mount Allison University will host its first hackathon on Saturday, where students will pitch and build projects that focus on technology for environmental sustainability.

Graeme Zinck, a computer science student at Mount Allison, is head of the organizing team. Zinck said the MTA Hack isn't about infiltrating a system, but about building something, "really cool, really quickly."

In 12 or 16 hours, depending on their skill levels, students will build a computer science project and pitch it to a panel of judges. High school and university students will get a chance to create anything from an educational game to increase environmental awareness, to building a system that could increase energy efficiency.

The students can't start their projects until they arrive at the hackathon, and they have to complete them before their time is up. Zinck said there are judges from Google, Dell, RideCo and Tantramar Interactive.

Mount Allison University is hosting a hackathon, giving students a chance to build their ideas for a sustainable future. (Mount Allison University/Facebook)

The hackathon registration was open to anyone in high school or university and has 52 participants.

Zinck said the event is exciting for everyone involved.

"It's an opportunity to just take all of your skills and say, 'You know what? I want to make something, make something that might have an impact.'" 

Zinck said part of the challenge is the time limit, and it isn't necessarily a hindrance.

"Clearly you can't always fulfil your lofty goal, but it's just taking that first step. And then after the hackathon people can continue to develop their products and they have that experience, so then the next time they want to build something, they have some background."

With files from Information Morning Moncton

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