Rich Shannon judges high school coding competition

May 2015 │ New York

The Americas CIO and other members of Group Technology & Operations applied their expertise to facilitate a student “hackathon.”

This was the fifth such event organized by the nonprofit organization ScriptEd, which equips students in under-resourced high schools with coding skills and professional experiences to prepare them for careers in technology. ScriptEd provides in-school coursework, field trips, summer internships and other job-shadowing opportunities to expose students to cutting-edge, industry-aligned knowledge and mentors in the field. This past school year, the organization worked with 13 partner schools to serve approximately 300 students. Founded in 2012, the organization has plans to expand to more schools and to reach even more students.

At the end of every semester, ScriptEd holds a hackathon to celebrate students’ learning and stretch their knowledge further. The 95 teens who participated in this most recent hackathon had completed at least a year of ScriptEd classes in HTML, CSS and Javascript languages. Working in teams of five to six, students were given six hours to collaboratively design and develop new web-app projects based on a surprise theme revealed that day. The theme of this hackathon was music. Technical volunteers, from Deutsche Bank and other firms, were assigned to each team to guide students through the process of applying new and old concepts to their projects.

At the end of the day, all 16 teams presented their finished projects and explained the underlying code. Volunteer judges reviewed the projects based on design, implementation of course concepts, communication of project and process, creativity and teamwork. Of the five projects that advanced to the second round of judging, two were advised by Deutsche Bank volunteers.

Reflecting on the experience, Rich Shannon, Americas Chief Information Officer (CIO), Regional Co-Head of GTO Americas and CIO GTO Corporate Technology, said, “This terrific program shares our commitment to innovation and creativity by fostering a passion for technology in the next generation of leaders. We were very impressed and inspired by their hackathon projects."

First place was awarded to the Droppin’ Beats project created by students from Manhattan International High School. Inspired by the classic arcade game Space Invaders, Droppin' Beats requires users to "catch" music tracks from SoundCloud. Click here to read more about the event.

To learn more about ScriptEd, click here.

Rich Shannon (second from right) and JP Armstrong (far right) with several participating students. They were joined by colleagues Paul Goudas and Thomas Kunnumpurath, also from GTO.

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