On Thursday, April 18, students from grades 5, 6 and 7 crowded into the Kovler Family Library and participated in the first-ever Parker Hackathon. The Hackathon was called the VR Immersive Worlds Challenge, and the prompt was:
“With your team, develop an interactive CoSpaces project that would be interesting and appealing for members of the Parker community to enjoy.”
For the uninitiated, a hackathon is a marathon building/prototyping/creating event involving teams of people who tackle a challenge in innovative ways. Students coded, built and designed virtual worlds using CoSpaces EDU, software for creating sophisticated, interactable AR or VR environments. While several students were familiar with CoSpaces due to their work with the fabulous members of Parker’s Integrated Learning and Information Sciences Department, the Hackathon provided a unique opportunity to delve deeply into a team project—the event lasted from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.! While Chef Zac’s magnificent team and local restaurant Casati’s helped fuel these young brains with food and beverages for the full four and a half hours, the primary source of energy was the creativity and enthusiasm of all the students and “staffulty” who participated.
Special thanks are due to the marvelous adults who made this tremendous (and long) evening possible: Mr. Bacon, Ms. Beebe, Ms. Coleman, Mr. Colestock, Mr. Lee, Ms. Lesak and Ms. Marshall. Planning work by the 5th grade team, Ms. Zerega and Mr. Novick were indispensable as well. TIDES facilitators and Ms. Miklavcic Brandon voluntarily dropped by to help as well. This was a true community effort!
CoSpaces is compatible with any device, so if you are reading this article, you can view the student-created worlds! While students designed their worlds for use with a VR headset, you can still explore them using any computer, tablet or smartphone.
Click here to explore the virtual worlds students created, and click here to see photos from this wonderful event.