Six days to ‘Build Something Worthy’

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Computer and engineering students were given six days to complete one task: build something worthy.

“We really wanted to put as few rules or procedures as we could in place,” said Scott Burton, the computer science department chair and director of the event.

Hack Week participants were expected to form and register their teams by Feb. 4 and submit a video of their projects on YouTube by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 10.

In those six days, over 27 projects were completed with over half of those projects finished via Zoom. Students built drones, video games, websites, virtual pets, card games and even a way for Alexa to remind people if the dishwasher is clean or dirty.

All competitors and professors involved in the event participated in the voting. Projects were judged based on three criteria: creativity, polish and ability to match the theme. Prizes were awarded to each team that won first place for each sub-category and the overall winning team.

Edward Angeles Medina, Chih-Yang Tsao, and Samantha Nestman won the grand prize with their Gospel Stories App.

“This app is a social medial app for sharing personal gospel stories,” said Medina, a freshman studying applied technology. “It allows you to share a testimony or an experience that you’ve had.

In six days, this team created a phone app complete with graphic design and Google sign-in capabilities. Within the app, users can share thoughts, scriptures or videos. Other users can scroll through the feed and like or comment on the posts of the people they follow.

“Being able to see an idea go from a mockup, then to a prototype, and finally to an actual working web app was amazing,” said Nestman, a junior studying web design and development. “I learned so much about collaboration and communication. I have my team to thank for how much fun it was.”

Zack Tarantino, Kendrikc Rambal and Joshua Ratelle won “Best of Theme” with their project B.O.M. Widgety. This app allows users to add a Book of Mormon widget to the home screen of their phones. Users can choose any Book of Mormon verse to display on the widget.

Trevor Neri, Jack Leung, Jordan Huffaker, Samuel Bakes and Audrey Mae Moncada won “Most Polished” with their project Tap Tap. The app Tap Tap was designed for those with special needs. It is simple to navigate and provides exercises and games for individuals with mental and developmental needs.

Hunter Livesay and Preston Millward won “Most Creative” with their project Delta Music. This website allows users to search their favorite Spotify songs and, from this search, the program generates its own brand-new song.

“We were so excited to see all the creative ideas these teams came up with, this is what company recruiters are looking for,” Burton said.

Because of the large number of participants, the Computer and Engineering Departments plan to host another Hack Week in future semesters.

“Our hope was to see students put together something that uplifts and inspires,” Burton said. “I hope that these students don’t stop thinking about that kind of project at the end of this hack week, but they use their skills to make the world a better place.”

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Creators of B.O.M. Widgety.
“Best of Theme” winners – Zack Tarantino and Kendrikc Rambal. Photo credit: Brittany Jones

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