At BETA Hack! students have the opportunity to learn project based technology skills while competing on behalf of their school or club. Students will be challenged to use critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork skills to develop solutions to relevant problems that are at the heart of growth and development of our country in the digital age.
In 2019, we launched the first inter-school hackathon competition in the Bahamas, BETA Hack!
This first offering was under the theme Bits & Battles and hosted over 40 students from 6 different schools at Lyford Cay International School. It included a technical showcase from various tech enabled companies across New Providence, as well as a Technology panel featuring tech experts and entrepreneurs on the island.
In 2020, things have taken a bit of a turn. With many events over the past year like Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to learn how to be sustainable and resilient in face of the unexpected. With that, the theme for this year’s hackathon is Shift & Adapt, and will encourage high school students to considers innovative ways to use technology to enable our country’s resilience.
What is a Hackathon?
A hackathon is an event where 1 or more individuals come together as a team in order to solve a problem using a provided set of tools and or restrictions based on a theme or concept.
How will groups participate and communicate?
Each group will be made up of 3-4 students from a single school or organization and will be allowed to communicate using whichever means are most suitable for their collaboration.
Who can apply?
Each team must have a registered advisor that is either a teacher or chaperone approved by the organization being represented. Only applications filled out by these individuals will be eligible for approval and only the students listed in the application will be eligible to participate.
Can family islanders and home schoolers participate?
As long as the team is made up of students that a part of an approved organization, the origin of the student is irrelevant. The following are approved organizations:
- Private or Public Schools (within The Bahamas)
- After-school Clubs
- Youth Organizations (Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, GGYA, etc)
How do students register?
Once the members of a team have been decided and an advisor has been appointed, the advisor must fill in the application form on the BETA website with the members of their team listed.
Can more than one group register from a particular school/group/organisation?
Only a single team from any organization is able to participate in each age group.
How can students prepare for the competition?
On the 14th and 15th of November we will be hosting workshops to help students become familiar with useful technologies and concepts related to programming and software development. Whilst some of these workshops are private, others are free and open to non-competitors as well.
Who can be a group advisor?
Teachers and appointed chaperones from Youth organizations are able to be registered advisors.
Can the same teacher moderate multiple groups from the same school?
As long as the individual registers each team, they will be allowed to be an advisor for teams in each age group.
Can groups be formed outside of specific schools?
The competition is primarily geared towards intramural competition but teams from any recognized Youth organization will be eligible to compete.
Will groups be separated by age or grade?
There are two age groups that a team can be registered for with matching difficulty levels:
- KiddoBytes – Grades: 7 – 9
- BetaBytes – Grades: 7 – 12
Can groups consists of both high school and jr high students?
As each team must be registered in a specific grade bracket, they can only consist of members that meet the requirements for that grade bracket.
What is required to participate (devices, information, etc)?
As this years hackathon will be entirely virtual, students will require their own computer and means of communication to collaborate with their teams. Solutions will be recommended based on working options from prior hackathons but the competitors are advised to choose methods familiar and readily available to them.
What time and how long does the competition run (is it during school hours)
The competition will run from Friday the 20th to Sunday the 22nd of November and will require full participation on Friday as that will be when the teams are officially announced and initial preparation for team planning will be done.