Student-MadeFeb 9, 2021

updated Feb 9, 2021

2 days (and nights!) of coding and empowerment

First-ever MHS Hackathon goes live


Congratulations and thank you to the student-led club Crypted001 for the successful, informative, and fun MHS Hackathon — the first-ever at the School.

The three-day event saw students from Miss Hall’s and other schools work together in teams to address societal issues through technology. There were talks and discussions with female professionals in tech-related fields and activism. It was 48 hours of designing, coding, problem-solving, and hearing from dynamic panelists about leadership, advocacy, women in STEM and more!

The goal of the event was to introduce students to computer science and technology by encouraging them to solve pressing issues through coding, explained Kathleen ’22 and Fernanda ’23, co-Heads of Crypted001@MHS.

"The Crypted001 club was created in order to offer MHS students more opportunities to develop a passion for coding, and computer science in general, outside of the classroom."
Fernanda ’23
MHS Hackathon co-Organizer

“Kathleen and I, inspired by the spirit of the Hackathons that we attended last summer, wanted to provide MHS with the same opportunities: being able to learn how to code, connect with a multitude of professionals, and make new friends, over the span of just one weekend,” Fer explained. The event was something she and Kathleen had hoped to organize since launching the club.

“The event was definitely a great opportunity for us to learn, grow, and connect with all of those around us,” added Kathleen, who was impressed by the dedication of all involved, including Crypted001 members, participating students, and speakers and panelists. “We had many great conversations, made many wonderful connections, and gained many new experiences.”

The Hackathon began at 8 p.m. on Friday with a team-forming activity, followed by a 12 a.m. Opening Ceremony and events throughout Saturday and into the evening. Sunday’s activities began at 8 a.m. and concluded at midnight.

We hope that this experience can also raise awareness about how technology and issues in our everyday lives are incredibly interconnected.

MHS Hackathon co-Organizer

The speaker list was impressive —

  • Kathleen led a workshop on Thunkable, a type of app-builder.

Grace Ling, a designer at Electronic Arts, and MHS alumna Kim Huynh ’16, a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, led a panel on Women in STEM.

  • Diana ’21, Selina ’21, and Phuong ’21 led a workshop on pitching ideas.Tia Jain, a high school senior and co-Founder of AI4Sight, an iOS app for the blind, led a workshop about how to take ideas and work beyond the hackathon.

Christopher Himes, Ph.D., Director of Engineering and Technology Innovation/STEAM Coordinator at MHS led workshops on the coding program Python and an introduction to artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Among the highlights, Christina Lowery, CEO of Girl Rising, led a powerful session about using technology for the common good. Girl Rising is a nonprofit that aims to break the cycle of global poverty by getting girls in school and keeping them there. Her tools? Storytelling.

Christina and her team partner with organizations on the ground in 11 countries to assess local needs, identify community service projects that solve real-world problems, and use film to tell stories about the inspiring girls leading that change. Their goal is to shift the narrative about a girl’s place in the world, to change minds about the value of a girl’s life, and to influence policy in the realm of girls’ education. The students and adults loved concluding the weekend learning about the amazing impact we can have by putting our own resources to work changing the world.

Fer and Kathleen deemed the weekend a success! They thanked Crypted001 club members Naomi ’24, Hanna ’24, Aurora ’23, Celcie ’21, and Phuong ’22, as well as club Advisor Dr. Himes, for their help in putting together the event.

“I believe everyone learned so much from the speakers that we had in several different aspects of app development and activism,” Fer said. Added Kathleen, “We hope that to the attendees, the MHS Hackathon was a fun and informative event that inspires them to pursue their goals beyond the three-day event, whether it be mastering a coding language or becoming an advocate for an issue that they care deeply about.”