Chicago, IL (PRWEB) April 08, 2014
The Adler Planetarium is hosting four Hack Day events in 2014 to connect science and technology communities in the city and reach youth with inspirational, hands-on science experiences. Hack Days bring together young people and groups of software developers, designers, scientists, engineers, artists and people who just like to create and build, to work collaboratively in teams to find creative solutions to challenges in their communities.
“Hack Days are where solutions begin,” said Michelle B. Larson, Ph.D., Adler Planetarium president & CEO. “The process of science is a collaborative, team experience. These Hack Days represent how we do science and celebrate the value of coming together as a team to leverage different skill sets into creative problem solving.”
The Adler’s Hack Day events are designed for two main audiences: the science, technology and mathematics (STEM) professional audience, who are excited by technology and motivated to participate in community events and give back to Chicago; and a curious and motivated youth audience ranging from middle to high school. While the events vary in style appropriate to each audience, the main objective is to have fun and raise awareness of science and technology as tools for innovation.
“Hack Days are fun, playful opportunities for people to come together in an informal environment and get involved in breaking down barriers to science,” said Laura Whyte, Ph.D., director of Citizen Science at the Adler Planetarium. “Teams come together and help create a gateway that will enable people to participate more deeply.”
The Adler’s 2014 Hack Days are:
Science Hack Day – April 12-13
During this two-day event, hackers of all ages, abilities and interests will bring their own ideas to work on or join other projects at the Adler’s second Science Hack Day. Designers, developers, scientists, engineers, artists, and other interested members of the community will come together to create unique products. In the Adler’s inaugural Science Hack Day, hackers created a Table-Top Cloud Chamber to capture particle movement and Galaxy Karaoke in the Grainger Sky Theater. This year, the Adler will feature the International Space Apps Challenge, which embraces collaborative problem solving with the goal of producing relevant open-source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on Earth and life in space. Numerous challenges will specifically support NASA’s mission directorates in five themes: Earth Watch, Technology in Space, Human Spaceflight, Robotics, and Asteroids.
Random Hacks of Kindness Junior – April 27
Designed to engage middle school students, this hack day will focus on introducing students to the basic concepts of coding and building mobile phone apps while helping others. Working in teams of three plus a mentor, students will use technology to help make the world a better place. This youth Hack Day will be based on Random Hacks of Kindness, an event created with the philosophy that technology innovations can have significant impact on social wellness, particularly by solving practical problems. Students will have the opportunity to work with local non-profit organizations, and their objective will be to explore a variety of technical solutions to ultimately create a prototype of one or more of the following products: a website using HTML, an application for Android phones using App Inventor, or a game using Scratch – a visual programming toolkit for young technology enthusiasts.
Civic Hack Day – May 31-June 1
As part of the National Day of Civic Hacking, the Adler will engage Chicago youth, mentors and highly skilled STEM professionals in producing technology solutions to civic issues that affect low-income communities. The youth/adult teams will address issues identified through a partnership with the Mikva Challenge, a local nonprofit that engages youth in identifying challenges and developing solutions that affect the city’s students. The Adler will also partner with Free Spirit Media, a project-based nonprofit that provides access and educational experiences in media production. Each team will highlight their work on a website, ideal for communicating with local government and civic leaders the ideas and solutions they created through the hacking day.
Girls Do Hack – November 15
Partnering with community and youth organizations and the Chicago Public Schools, the Adler will invite teams of young women to the museum to work with role models in STEM. These high school students will work in teams with women in STEM professions and participate in workshops and activities designed to emphasize the skills required in STEM careers. Together, girls and their mentors will complete a selection of activities and workshops, ranging from mobile phone hacking to 3D printing, to exoplanet detection.
Teza is the presenting sponsor of Civic Hack Day and Girls Do Hack.
About the Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium - America’s First Planetarium - was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler. A recognized leader in public learning, the Adler inspires young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Scientists, historians and educators at the museum inspire the next generation of explorers.