York Technical College and Winthrop University partnered to
hold a 24-hour "hackathon," a designing and coding competition, at The Hive
earlier this month.
Five teams of students from Winthrop University,
York Technical College, and Rock Hill High School competed in "Wired Hack
15.1" January 15 and 16. Centered on a theme of civic engagement, the teams
were charged with developing a web, mobile, or alternative media that could
help increase civic engagement in Rock Hill and the surrounding community.
The teams began by brainstorming and planning on white boards. Later, they
developed databases and websites or mobile apps based on their plan. While
individuals from the teams could leave to sleep for a few hours, rules
stipulated that at least one team member must remain present at all times. Most
team members persevered through the night.
Exactly 24 hours after the
event kicked off, the groups made their presentations. Judges were Vince
Simonowicz, IT director with the City of Rock Hill and Jason Dellaruso, product
development manager with Span Enterprises. Several local employers attended to
scout for talent.
While all teams worked diligently and produced
impressive results, "Rock Hill Volunteers" - a Winthrop University team made up
of Paige Meinke, Zac Gordon, Michael Threat, and Ethan Hanner - took first
place and were presented with five-terabyte external hard drives. Another team
from Winthrop, the "One Heart" team composed of Tara Slabich, Courtney Stokes,
Billy Greene, and Marcus Nesbitt, won second place and received 16 GB iPod
Nanos. Third place went to Ben Madison, Caitlin Mears, and Gabriel White, a
Rock Hill High School team; these students won Raspberry Pis, credit-card
Even after being awake for more than 30 hours, the
teams were enthusiastic and participants declared it a great learning
The South Carolina Department of Commerce Innovation
Challenge Grant provided funding for the hackathon. The grant funds activities
related to technology talent development and awareness for Knowledge Park in