Technology Can Solve Real-World Issues

Story by Sean Beach. Photos from Thursday Network’s Instagram.

OCT. 9, 2018: On September 8, 2018, scholars from Tech Prep had the chance to join other students from around DC at Mapbox to experience our first hackathon which was called #UnHacktheVote2018. The purpose of the hackathon was to use technology to solve real-world problems. There were four different groups. The different groups discussed Homelessness, Digital Divide, Gun Violence, and Teacher Quality. All of the different groups had to make pitches to show to a panel of judges. They had to make sure the pitch explained what they wanted to do to solve their chosen issues.

My group talked about Homelessness and came up with an innovative way to solve this issue by using Fortnite to play in national tournaments and as gamers are playing the game they will be collecting coins that will actually be used as real money to donate. With all of the funds that we collect using Fortnite, we would give 40% to a homeless foundation in Los Angeles, California because California has the largest amount of homeless people in the United States, give 40% to Epic Games, the owner of Fortnite for allowing us to use their platform and lastly, give 20% to develop our game mode. Because my group had this innovative and unique idea we came in 1st place and won a Kindle Fire.  

Throughout this entire event and opportunity, we were able to learn more about how to give pitches, to implement technology, and to develop coding. We were also able to gain more team bonding skills. As a result we were able to actually think about how we, as the youth, can solve issues that are important to us.

Sean Beach is a 10th-grade scholar at Friendship Tech Prep Academy.