A pair of Port Moody secondary school students are going where few of their peers have gone before.
Sophie Feng and Angela Hu’s group of female coders, STEM for FEM, is hosting a free, virtual hackathon this weekend.
Quantahacks is an intense, 48-hour coding challenge that allows participants to use technology to have an impact on the world in issues like: health and tech; social good; the environment; and innovation.
“Technology is already revolutionizing everything and has the potential to be a game-changer in solving worldwide issues like climate change,” said Feng, who’s in Grade 11.
The event, that begins Saturday, gives teams of mostly high school and university students a chance to code an app or prototype that could improve the delivery of health care, help the environment, assist people facing hardship or just create something new and innovative. At stake is more than $10,000 in prizes.
Hu said participants will also be able to hone their coding skills by logging into various workshops with CEOs, entrepreneurs, software engineers and data analysts. As well, there will be talks on the ethics of artificial intelligence, Java and web development tutorials and even a webinar on getting a job or internship in the tech sector.
Feng said the event took months of planning, including applying for grants and connecting with sponsors as well as presenters. It’s the group’s most ambitious undertaking since they founded it as a way to empower young women interested in technology.
Feng added she hopes the hackathon will bring together a diverse range of competitors.
“We also wanted to foster international collaboration, given how divided the world seems to be getting.”
Interested students can register at stemforfem.com/quantahacks-2021. No prior background in coding is necessary to participate.