Introducing the Hackathon Travel Team


Anna Clevenger

Members of the Hackathon team at work

With a new school year comes new clubs, sports, and teams. This year, that includes the brand new hackathon travel team. The hackathon team is part of Bronx Science’s new program, Bronx Science Hackers, and it will be assembled from selected students who have completed all aspects of Bronx Science Hackers, previously known as the Programming Academy. The idea for the team, and the other new STEM activities, was created by the Alumni Foundation and continues to be funded by them.

“I think hackathons offer a unique epistemology when it comes to computer programming, as opposed to learning from an computer science class,” explained Brian Lee ’18, a student who regularly attends hackathons in his free time.

“Really, it’s the community brought together as a result of the hackathon that counts. A hundred or so people are dedicating twenty-four hours of their day to program, and they are willingly meeting random people from across the country to create something beneficial to the community, or in many cases just to have fun,” Lee said.

Bronx Science already hosts an annual hackathon, AtomHacks, so a hackathon team is the next step in continuing the school’s STEM progression. Bronx Science Hackers will also host small challenges throughout the year that will test students’ skills and allow them to compete against each other.

“There are many benefits to having a team. From a competition perspective, we can put ourselves out there more as a school. From a school perspective, we can grow an interest in computer science and in programming,” said Claire Glendening ’18, the co-president of Bronx Science Hackers.

“One thing that students can learn about at hackathons is intellectual stamina,” said Ms. Marieke Thomas, the advisor of Bronx Science Hackers, explaining the benefits of hackathons compared to regular high school computer science lessons. “At a hackathon, everyone has to work consistently for a much longer time period than just the regular forty-one minute class period. During that time, everyone gets stuck or encounters problems, but they’re forced to keep trying new solutions to work through those problems,” Thomas said.

Jack Cook ’18, the co-president of the Bronx Science Hackers explains,  “Hackathons provide an environment that fosters creativity. They expose people to a culture that they don’t traditionally learn about during high school.”