Earlier this month on October 3rd, Ohio State’s hackathon program (known as OHI/O) and Root Insurance co-hosted a one day hackathon event for high schoolers. The goal was to provide high school students with an opportunity to learn about computer science in a fun, engaging, and inclusive environment while also getting to talk to professionals within the field.
TDAI Core Faculty member, Michael Rayo, and his team pushed the hackathon community to not only build a technology, but one that brings people together. This idea represents the holistic, comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to data analytics and software development that is the hallmark of TDAI.
The challenge prompt presented to students was:
“Your job is to create an interactive product that will reduce the SPACE between individuals and the topic of climate change. SPACE can relate to geographic distance, but it can also relate to differences between cultures, livelihoods, or beliefs. It can also relate to distance in time: the perceived SPACE between the present and the future. This creative endeavor should reduce the physical and psychological distance between people, and encourage cooperation to address the specific climate change issue you chose.”
Although the event was virtual this year and Pomerene couldn’t play a direct role, its ability to inspire was successful even in the virtual space. Mike Rayo wanted to show it off as a backdrop in a plea from the ‘future’ to get multi-disciplinary support for climate change response at the OSU-run high school hackathon. Rayo said, “ I couldn’t think of a better backdrop to speak to the high school students from the “future”, and help them understand that climate change is a ‘now’ problem, and a ‘here’ problem.”