Suburban Detroit Middle Schoolers Win Hackathon
A team of middle school students from Woodhaven, MI,
a mobile app that lets parents know more about what they're doing at
won $15,000 for their school in the process.
The team from the Patrick Henry Middle School won the
STEAM Lab Challenge Hackathon held at the Ford
Resource and Engagement Center
in Detroit March 28, conducted by the Ford STEAM Lab, an educational
the Ford Motor Company Fund.
Nearly 100 students from five middle schools in the
metropolitan area participated in the two-day hackathon that tested
software coding skills and challenged them to produce, or "hack," an
The winning team from Patrick Henry created an app
students, parents and teachers to access their curriculum when away from
classroom, in real time, and gives parents and teachers the chance to
communicate with each other one to one.
In addition to the $15,000 prize for their school,
each of the
five members of the team won $2,500 scholarships to use when they begin
The second-place team, from Detroit's Clippert
an app that helps with interactive reading comprehension with quizzes,
assistance and e-book downloads.
Ford Motor Company Fund Multicultural Community
Manager Shawn Wilson said that the students taught the company some
as well: "Utilize existing technology, develop flexible schedules so
can continue learning on their own time and improve ways to communicate
outside the classroom."
Every team in the competition was invited to attend a
software coding class this summer at the Henry
Ford College in Dearborn, MI,
during which they will build their own Android apps from scratch.
The competition, televised live on MSNBC, was judged
#YesWeCode founder Van Jones, Detroit Free Press Editorial Page Editor
Henderson and MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.