It’s the middle of January, three o’clock in the morning at the University of California in Santa Cruz. Hundreds stayed ächtigte students sit together in small groups on their Laptops and brooding. On the screens of complex graphs, equations and flow charts.

The hallways are sacks full of students to sleep. You just make a NAP, then drink coffee and work more. So since the evening before 17.00 hrs. Now you have only 12 hours of time, their projects to be completed, and to present them to a panel of experts.

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But they don’t work against time, in order to pass any exam. You are here voluntarily, in order to Cruz hacks in a 34-hour long, so-called Hackathon, which is organized by the Earth Hack Foundation.

Sanjana Paul, the 22-year-old head of the organization, describes the Hackathon as a “new model of climate activism”. The event attracts hundreds of young people who are willing to work under time pressure technical solutions for environmental problems. Sanjana Paul hopes that the work with a view to the most pressing global climate problems.

breaking down barriers

More than 500 people showed up for the event in Santa Cruz, and dealt with topics such as “sustainability and technology for the conservation of the earth”, “Pychische health” and “Social justice”.

Sanjana Paul has begun to 2018, to organize Hackathons. This is now the fifth. Some of the solutions created during the hackathon, have now been developed. A group with Cruz hacks was allowed to recover in a special program of your University to create a prototype of your “Spore Stickers” stickers, which are filled with fungal spores, so that the carton will be faster decomposed. At the same time you will detoxify the soil.

for More projects at previous Hackathons Smartphone Sensors, the E-waste reduce, intelligent thermostats for energy saving and moss filter for cleaning the air in buildings.

inclusion is a Central value in the events. “I wanted to break down barriers to entry for people who are normally excluded from promotions like this one to search for environmental innovations, for example, low-income people and ethnic minorities”, said the graduated engineer Sanjana Paul, the engineer in the atmospheric research, now works as a Software.

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in Order to reach such students, Sanjana Paul’s Team developed strategies: participation in the Earth Hacks and the catering are free of charge. Laptops for each Team will be provided, so that even those students who do not have, can easily participate.

Just as a technician, you can’t stand it, if the skills and opinions of people that are freaks, no technology, Sanjana Paul.

Although environmental issues have always been, that is to say, have you since your 16. Birthday particularly engaged. Shutter button the almost desperate calls from scientists to take Action were.

“The global environmental situation has deteriorated a lot since then, and now that’s pretty much all I think of,” said Paul. “Nothing is more important than a Planet we can live on.”

Sanjana Paul is very keen to organise more Hackathons, but due to the currently ongoing COVID-19-epidemic all by the summer of planned events have been moved, or virtually carried out.

technology for the social Well-being

Many are in the mood for these events. Shivika Sivakumar, a 19-year-old student, took part in the Cruz hack.

“As a computer science and policy student, I find the idea that the technology can serve the social good, exciting,” she says. “Hackathons are the perfect opportunity to turn this idea into reality. It’s also fun when working with friends.”

New to the Backend development (i.e., engaged with the part of the Software, which runs invisibly in the Background of a Website), spent Shivika Sivakumar to learn numerous hours online to how to develop Algorithms. Her Team developed the program “News Not Hues”, which tries to solve the Problem of Fake News. They developed a Browser extension that is on every news article to be applicable, and in order to assess whether prejudice to determine its content.

A project that could win a share of $ 10,000, the equivalent of approximately 9,200 Euro prize money at the Cruz hack, was “H20ceans”. This is a computer program that can tell the Population of key species before.

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The Team consisted of Fahed Abudayyeh, Navika Gupta and Kayla Bowler 20-Year-old from California, participated for the first Time in a Hackathon part.

“As computer science students, we hardly have the opportunity to explore other areas of research,” said Abudayyeh. “When we took on Cruz hacks part, we were excited to develop something, what is significant for us.”

another winning project, the App “pollen planter was”. One looks for “his” pollinators and a user-defined profile, indicating what plants attract this certain pollinators, such as hummingbirds, wood bee, and butterfly.

Different skills together,

bring The Tech-entrepreneur Mick Liubinskas provides for a cooperation, such as in the case of the Hackathon as a unique opportunity. “Often research doesn’t have a Chance to commercialisation, because they remain in universities and laboratories. We need to bring entrepreneurs and researchers together, and Finance.”

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Sanjana Paul says, you have felt motivated, as it managed to move both students from the technical area as well as from the Non-stem subjects to participate.

“one Of my favorite examples is that of a student of biomedical engineering, the event came up to me and said he was a bit mad at me, because I have him and the other brought to the whole night through solar power to reflect,” says Sanjana Paul. “You were angry deprivation due to the resulting Sleep and at the same time angry about our dependence on fossil fuels. This change in awareness is amazing and important.”

author: Lucy Sherriff

*The contribution “Can be found through Hackathons solutions for the climate crisis?” published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle