Four Millenials Activate Education With New Hackathon

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Activate ED presents HACKtivate ED, an education hackathon, June 14-16 in San Francisco.

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HACKtivate ED is exactly the sort of venue where we can bring together the collective intellect, drive and passion in education and other industries to brainstorm and build solutions that address real needs in our local schools.

Activate ED, announces HACKtivate ED, an education hackathon, being held from June 14-16 at Code for America headquarters in San Francisco. HACKtivate ED will connect the Bay Area tech community and local education organizations with the common objective of tackling important, immediate challenges in K-12 education. Nearly 100 participants will form teams and hack for 24 hours over two days to develop apps and analyses for local schools and districts.

The hackathon is the brainchild of four young women – Chian Gong, Han Hong, Roxanne Phen and Thu Cung – who left prestigious jobs at ZS Associates, LiveOps, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, respectively, to lend their talent and vision to education as Analyst Fellows with Education Pioneers. Unlike other education hackathons, which have predominately been created and driven by large organizations engaging in social responsibility, HACKtivate ED was born out of the challenges these four Fellows experienced firsthand while working in organizations such as the San Francisco Unified School District, Aspire Public Schools and StudentsFirst.

“In my work as a Fellow at Aspire Public Schools, I am often introducing existing tools and technologies to my educator colleagues because inefficiency can be a huge drain on time and resources,” said Chian Gong. “HACKtivate ED is exactly the sort of venue where we can bring together the collective intellect, drive and passion in education and other industries to brainstorm and build solutions that address real needs in our local schools.”

Prior to becoming an Education Pioneers Fellow with StudentsFirst, Han Hong was with LiveOps, a SaaS company in Silicon Valley, where she consulted on business development and product strategy. With very limited experience in education, Hong decided to apply to the competitive Education Pioneers program in 2012.

“Staying in corporate America or staying in the private sector world, I knew I could work long hours and make another client some good money,” said Hong. “But in education, that extra hour working, or putting in late nights, means the chance for another child to receive an education, to make a difference in this world. There’s more at stake.”

HACKtivate ED has secured Alexandra Bernadotte, founder and CEO of Beyond 12 and an Education Pioneers alumna; Michael Staton, partner at Learn Capital; and Shauntel Poulson, associate partner at NewSchools Venture Fund and an Education Pioneers alumna as judges. Education Pioneers’ Founder and CEO, Scott Morgan, will give the kickoff speech at the event.

“Collaboration across sectors is key to transform education for all students,” said Scott Morgan. “I am excited about our four Analyst Fellows producing HACKtivate ED and enabling teams to develop new apps and analyses for local schools and districts. Well-known companies such as Google and Facebook do this to foster innovation within their companies and I hope this hackathon will do the same to address pressing problems in education.”

HACKtivate ED will take place at Code of America headquarters at 155 9th Street in San Francisco from 8:00am Saturday, June 15 through 2:30pm on Sunday, June 16. A kickoff party will take place on Friday, June 14 at Raven Bar, 1151 Folsom Street, from 6:00-8:00pm. For a detailed schedule, please click here.

HACKtivate ED is generously sponsored by Activate ED, Education Pioneers, Code for America, The Broad Foundation, Lewis PR, and Innovate Foundation. Supporting sponsors include: ClassDojo, Edmodo, Indiegogo, Edcanvas, Pearson, NewSchools Venture Fund, and Patxi’s Pizza.

Media are invited to attend the event. Please contact Chris.Rico(at)Activate-ED(dot)org for a press pass.

To learn more about HACKtivate ED, visit: Watch a video of the four fellows who created HACKTivate ED here.

Activate ED is a collaboration of three leading education organizations — The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, Education Pioneers, and the Strategic Data Project — each of which have missions to transform education by supplying top leaders, managers, and analysts to the field. Activate ED recruits and places graduate students, early- and mid-career professionals, and senior executives into leadership positions in education nonprofits, federal and state departments of education, charter schools, and other education organizations. For more information, visit Activate ED on Facebook, follow Activate ED on Twitter or Linkedin, or visit


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