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group of young Hackathoners in the IDEAS Xchange getting busy to come up with a solution to this year's prompt.

The fifth Providence Day (PD) Hackathon was a huge success due to the student participants, judges, and volunteers who spent their Saturday at the event

Students from different schools competed in teams to solve a current crisis in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. The teams ranged from two to three students varying in age from fourth to twelfth grade. From there, the teams and judges are divided into grade levels: fourth and fifth grades, sixth through eighth grades, and ninth to twelfth grades.

Dr. Edge introduced this year’s Hackathon promo to the eager participants in the Fine Arts (FA) Theatre. For three hours students would draw upon quantitative backed research, programming, and coding to solve this year’s prompt: Charlotte’s extremely limited economic mobility.

The teams quickly dispersed, iPads in hand, searching for a spot on campus to work on their solution. Suggested time allotments were given to help keep the teams focused. Stage one - research and development; stage two - ideation and development, and stage three - comparison, differentiation, and practice pitches.

Pizza was served for lunch, but that didn’t mean the teams took breaks to actually eat their slices. Working on iPads, standing in front of large touchscreens, or adjusting their presentations to perfection, a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza was usually in hand or sitting close-by, partially eaten.

From 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., teams pitched their solutions in the preliminary round. Judges were allowed to ask questions and make suggestions to improve the solution. Judges then deliberated and narrowed down each division to five teams. All eagerly awaited in the FA Theatre, hoping to hear their team announced as one of the top five finalists in each level.

The finalists teams then presented their solutions to an audience of fellow Hackathoners. Three judges, Abhishek Mehta (PD parent to Aaryana ‘28 and Nandini Mehta ‘25), Brittany Box (PD parent of Addison ‘31), and Olly Dennison (PD parent of Katie ‘25 and Jamie ‘29) were allowed to ask questions to help narrow down to their final teams.

After a quick deliberation, the winning announcements were made:
Lower School winners:  (Isha Mishra ‘26 and Charlotte Latin’s Jenna Chabaro ‘27).

An all-female sweep! The first time in Hackathon history!

Hope to see you all again and many more for the next Hackathon on February 24, 2024!

A big thank you goes out to all the judges and volunteers:

Lower School: Ron Pringle, Carlisa Warner, and Hailey Stroder
Middle School: Simon Park, Shweta Mehta, and Wes Fryer
Upper School: Brandon Gerena, Shubhra Dash, and Rachel Heneghan

T-shirt Handouts: Anne Monsted, Vipul Thakkar, Pavan Thakkar, and Monica Hamilton
Sign-ins: Simon Park, Dilek Incoglu, Fitz De Smet, Wendy Ranadive, and Rui Yu
Lunch: Angela Park, Lilian Chu, Caroline Pan
Chaperone: Daniel Lozovatsky, Cheryl Kaufman, Daisy Liu, Kelly Stevens, Surya Vankayala, and Sid Tatavarthy

112 participants represented the following schools:
Ardrey Kell High School, Beverly Woods Elementary School, Charlotte Christian School, Charlotte Country Day, Charlotte Latin School, Community House Middle School, Jay M. Robinson High School, New Garden Friend School, Providence Day School, Sharon Elementary School, and Trinity Episcopal School.

Hackathon fall 2023 photo collage