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Students Compete in Hack Appleton : Coding event returns to in-person format

Posted at 5:20 PM, Dec 10, 2023
  • Hack Appleton's first in-person hack-a-thon since 2019 took place Sunday at UW-Oshkosh Fox Cities
  • The event began in 2009 as the brainchild of Ivan Fan, who founded the Appleton Youth Education Initiative
  • Middle and high school students used coding and programming languages to create projects along the theme of "The Future"
  • Video shows students interacting with each other and the event's organizers discussing its significance

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Students in this generation can learn how to code from the Internet alone — and that was on display at Hack Appleton. Middle and high school students coded games, websites and other projects — from scratch — to try and land some prizes.

Organizers say Hack Appleton is the largest student-run K-12 hack-a-thon in northeast Wisconsin.

Roughly fifty Fox Cities students, ranging from sixth grade to high school, were given a problem statement.

They then wrote code to solve the problem, and attempt to wow a panel of a four judges.

Coding is computer programming — translating instructions into ones a computer can understand.

Appleton North High School junior Olivia Feng and other high schoolers hosted Hack Appleton, carrying on the tradition of Ivan Fan, who started it when he was in high school in 2009.

"It's so important that our future generation is educated in technology," Feng said. "It means a lot to see these participants be interested and willing to take that next step toward that next step of their technology journey."

The students competed for big-money prizes, which Feng says were made possible by Microsoft, which donated $5,000.

Keynote speaker Diane Doersch was impressed by the students' ability to organize the event.

"For the future, I don't think it's going to be us solving the problems," Doersch said. "It's going to be the students right behind me."

The winning team took home a PlayStation 5 — and bragging rights among their peers.