On the weekend of 3-4 August, we saw our annual Hackathon event commence in the Nathan campus library.
Sponsored by Redbull and Microsoft, the Digital Solutions Hackathon is a 30-hour event which involves creativity and collaboration to transform amazing app ideas which would benefit student life at Griffith into a reality.
We were overwhelmed not only with the turnout for this year’s event, but also the high calibre of ideas, students, app making ability and all-round enthusiasm over the weekend. A record number of creative-minded students, (double that of last year!) attended and hacked for 30 consecutive hours, yep, 30. Hours. Straight.
We were lucky enough to have two inspiring guest speakers, Thuy Lam from blackbook.ai and Scott Reid from Riot Solutions, to encourage the participants and provide important industry information.
So, how did our students go and who won the major prizes?
First place and $2000: team Derek.
Made up of all individual registrants, Zane Stevens, Jesse Schneider, Rachel Must and Rebecca Bailey, this winning team had only met at the commencement of the Hackathon event early Saturday morning. Coming together as a group full of strangers and creating something incredible enough to take home first prize shows the true spirit of a Hackathon and the true spirit of our amazing students. Team Derek came to the conclusion that there was no comprehensive service out there focused on helping university students bridge that gap between uni and employment in their relevant industry, so, that’s exactly what they decided to create. The team’s Griffith Employability App was all about helping our students with their employability related concerns. The app had key features such as a newsfeed or ‘interactive platform’ helping students develop employability skills, an events tab which showcases employability event opportunities, an employment tab which is comprised of jobs, internships and volunteering opportunities and finally, a chat section which allows you to maintain contact and network with those you have reached out to. This app creates incredible strong industry partnerships which students struggle with immensely every single day. The team had a great mix of ideas and inclusions such as market research from real and current Griffith students, a clear vision, excellent pitch, they produced code and development and were in fact the only ones to receive an ‘audible gasp’ from the audience whilst presenting.
Second place and $1000: team Unimaps.
The Unimaps team, Jason Hassell, Rohith Krishna Ponugoti, Giesela Cardenas Magno de Paredes and Charitha Wickramasinghe, believed a better Griffith Navigation System for the campus was in order, and their creation, idea, and pitch is exactly what handed them second place. The app includes a map of walkways through the campus which has complete pathfinding, real time and immersive visual reality, keeping up to date with the modern-day technology and advances we are seeing evolve around us. The Griffith Navigation System app also provides an audio component for the visually impaired. It also includes alternate routes for those with accessibility issues such as wheelchairs. Here at Griffith, we pride ourselves in our inclusiveness and ability to provide and support all students, and this app does exactly that.
Best UI design and $500: team Inspire.
The app MyGriffith created by Bren Domingo, Justine Cann and Rachel Ah Wing, was comprised of four components, Support, Learn, Navigate and Elevate. The Support component has a daily planner and access to PASS help, the Learn tab includes lecture capture and general tutorial information, the Navigate section shows events, clubs and society information on campus and finally, Elevate helps students to find mentors and access information regarding graduation and interviews. The overall user interface design of the app is exactly why team Inspire inspired the judges. Aside from the team’s wonderful creation, we also are proud to give special mention that two members of the team of three, decided to give their share of the prize money to Bren Domingo, an international student who needs as much help and she can get to graduate from her university degree. This amazing gesture greatly shows the values that are held in our Griffith students, willing to help others from different lifestyles, backgrounds, experiences and more, succeed in life.
All students produced excellent and innovative work, and choosing the winners was not an easy task. Judges felt the need to give one surprise honourable mention to Joshua Burt, Jordan Patrick Ward and Darren Pereira, AKA Yeet Crew of Hell, not only for their, *ahem*, unique name, however for the great focus on an issue that students face every day, parking!
Thank you to all of the incredible students who attended and shared your ideas with us. It is no lie we have some amazing minds here at our university who are ready to take over the technology world!