Local Hack Day to encourage creativity and problem solving

Computer hacking might conjure images of dark basements, hoodies and green Matrix-style code steaming endlessly on computer terminals, digitally lusting for passwords and secrets.

Yet at Local Hack Day (LHD), happening Sunday, Dec. 1, Brock University’s Computer Science Club (CSC) from the Faculty of Mathematics and Science invites computer and technology enthusiasts to contribute to the new vision of hacking — having the power to solve challenging problems efficiently through fun and innovative applications, coding and robotics.

Local Hack Day is an event run through the Major Hacking League, a series of simultaneous global events designed to spark a passion for technology in the local community.

Sammi Mak, one of two CSC Executives along with Kindeep Singh Kargil, says the LHD is “for everyone with a passion for technology,” and “designed to make it fun for anyone to join in and start creating.”

Event organizers are predicting that this year’s major trends will include augmented and virtual reality, as well as image and speech recognition projects. Students are welcome to bring their own ideas and use workshops and brainstorming sessions to help complete their vision.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m on Sunday in Pond Inlet with pizza, snacks and drinks provided free of charge. Projects are judged in a friendly atmosphere, with winners earning Amazon gift cards as prizes.

CSC President Joel Suavé says the event is a great way to expose young people to STEM.

“The day is geared towards collaboration and fun,” says Suavé. “It’s not all about winning.”

Many hacking events run for an entire weekend, but the LHD at Brock is shorter and more accessible to new attendees.

All projects created during LHD can be uploaded to DevPost where intellectual property rights are preserved. Major Hacking League and the Local Hack Day do not retain the rights to projects created during their events, meaning that participants’ ideas aren’t at risk for being stolen by sponsors or organizers.

The event welcomes anyone under the age of 18, including students from both high school and university-level at no cost, and has drawn participants as young as eight. Participants do not require previous computer science or STEM training to enjoy the day.

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