ISTE20Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Digital Leadership
Summit at ISTE20 Live
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Hack to the Future!

Location: W187b

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Lecture

Wednesday, June 27, 10:00–11:00 am
Location: W187b

Rico D'Amore   Kimberly Lobitz  
Hear how a group of students at Warren Township High School, with the support of administration, hosted the first-ever Major League Hacking event in Illinois. You'll learn about the concept and find out how to get the support of your administration and fund a successful event.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project-, problem- and challenge-based learning
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
Global Collaborator
  • Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

-Relevance of the topic to the educational technology field and ISTE audience.
The hackathon we hosted at our school was a transformational experience for our staff, students, and school community.

-Educational significance and contribution to the respective topic.
A hackathon allows the students to participate in an event that allow them to identify a problem, align with other students to form a team, work to find solution, and finally share the work completed on their hack.

-Degree to which higher/second-order applications of technology are addressed.
By design, a 24hr hackathon events allow students to work through Bloom’s Taxonomy ending at the highest level which is creating. Each team will identify a problem, work to create solution, and present their “hack” and all the work completed at the event.

-Ease of replication.
A hackathon can be planned, prepared for, and executed if the work leading to the event is carefully planned.

-Value to participants.
We believe the hackathon concept is very valuable to the students, staff, and the community. It celebrates students love for learning and participating in educational event outside the school day.


*15 Minute Intro with video and pictures included
What is a Hackathon? The term “Hacking” has evolved over the years to describe the act of quickly and intelligently creating a real application/solution that others can use. A hackathon is an invention marathon. Programmers, designers, builders and more come together to learn, build, and share their ideas.

*25 minutes discussion and Q&A addressing the actual event
-Cultivating support for your event: Planning, preparation, and overcoming obstacles to hold a 24 hour school event.

-How to make the event free to students with minimal cost to the district: Creating community partnerships to provide a free event to student participants, funding giveaway items and more.

-Define and plan your event: Determine the event focus and build a timeline including meals, team building and late night activities.

-Generate student interest: Promoting your event and reaching out to a diverse group of students. Creating an event focus to attract a balance of male and female attendees with an emphasis on inclusion of all backgrounds and skill levels.

-Mentoring and Mini-Sessions: Finding mentors to support the teams as they hack a real-world solution to a real-world challenge and ideas for industry professional led mini-sessions.

*15 Minute closing summarizing the event and a final Q&A questions
-24 Hours in 5 minutes or less: Share pictures, videos, and stories from the transformational event held at Warren Township HS.

Supporting research

Major League Hacking

Edutopia- Hackathons as a New Pedagogy

New York Times-The Hackathon Fast Track, From Campus to Silicon Valley

Wired Magazine- The Hackathon is On: Pitching and Programming the Next Killer App

More [+]


Rico D'Amore, Benedictine University
Kimberly Lobitz, Warren Township High School

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