Random Hacks of Kindness Junior

Patrice Gans from Random Hacks of Kindness Jr. (www.rhokjr.org) is hosting a Kids Coding for a Cause “hackathon” for local students in grades 4-8 on Saturday, October 7, 2017, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Mitchell College. Volunteer mentors from Pfizer, Mitchell College and other local universities/colleges will work with students to devise smartphone applications that address a range of problems facing local nonprofits.

“By the end of the day we hope they will see how technology can have a positive impact on someone’s life. Coding is more than a computer game,” said Gans. “Technology really has a purpose.”

The goal of the event is two-fold: 1) to bring together various local organizations serving students in southeast CT and raise awareness in the community of the resources available, and 2) to expose students to the joy of programming and perhaps shape their interest in STEM-related careers at a young age, which can increase their education and career opportunities.

Eight area nonprofits will be participating in the “hackathon”: Higher Edge (New London), Madonna’s Place (Norwich), New London Main Street (New London), High Hopes Therapeutic Riding (Old Lyme), Animal House (Waterford), Mystic Aquarium (Mystic), and S.T.E.P.S., Inc. (Groton). As an added bonus for the day, Mike Gentry, an engineering professor at Three Rivers Community College and a mentor for a FIRST team in Old Lyme, will be sharing his robots with the participants

“All of the solutions developed over the course of the day will be considered `open source,’” Gans noted, meaning that they will be available for use by anyone free of charge.

Parents who would like their children to take part in the hackathon, as well as area non-profit organizations interested in participating, are encouraged to email Patrice Gans at reesegans@gmail.com, or go to the Random Hacks of Kindness Jr. website at www.rhokjr.org.

About Random Hacks of Kindness Jr.

Random Hacks of Kindness Jr. was developed by Patrice Gans as an opportunity to empower and inspire youth to use technology for social good. Gans, a technology educator, organized the first Random Hacks of Kindness Jr. event at the Fraser Woods Montessori School in Newtown in May 2013. This event will be the nineteenth RHoK Jr. event since the organization was recognized as a formal 501c3 in October 2015.