Open to high school girls and college women. Collaborate, innovate, and create technology solutions for problems of social impact.

The Women’s Hackathon is designed to inspire young women to explore the unknown and open doors to opportunities in the tech sector. The 12-hour event is open to all female high school and college students. During the event, participants will work collaboratively to design a website, game, or mobile app that addresses a selected real world challenge. This event is open to participants of all skill levels: those who haven’t programmed at all, those who are programming geniuses, those who have an eye in design and even product management. It will be a great day to learn, invent, and create the future. But not only that, you can use your innovative idea!

You’ll work in teams with other women to build something amazing (or at least get it started), pitch your solution, and share it with the world via Devpost. Not only will you learn a ton, but you’ll also earn prizes, and gain the admiration of family and friends. There may be up to 6 people in a team. Prior to the event, teams can plan, storyboard, and determine what they want to do and how they will go about building their solution. The only caveat is that no programming toward the solution is allowed until the day of the event. All projects must be submitted to Devpost by 5:30 pm.

Teams will present their projects to a panel of judges. Depending on the final number of teams at the event, each team may have 5 - 7 minutes to present and 1 - 2 minutes to answer questions from the judges. Projects will be judged in 4 categories: Appropriateness to Theme, User Experience & Functionality, Originality & Impact, and Technical Difficulty.

Participation to the Hackathon is FREE. Register here.

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High school girls and college women, regardless prior programming background. Rookie professionals within two years from college graduation are permissible on a case-by-case discussion with event organizer.


Challenge 1: Keep America Beautiful

About KAB

Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful is a leading national nonprofit organization that provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering, improve recycling, and beautify communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 620 community-based affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. 

Challenge: Identification and Coding of Litter

An important step toward Keeping America Beautiful is to identify problems and educate the public about them. For this challenge, each team is asked to design and develop a software application that can take advantage of current computing technology to help code the varying levels of litter (1=no litter, 2=slightly littered, 3=littered, 4=extremely) in a community using images from Google Streets, and to create a local and national measure of litter. Each team is invited to think through the process of collecting, reviewing, and coding images, the organization of images, and the strategies to engage broader participation from local residents. 

Challenge 2: The Whole Food Nut (WFN)

About WFN

The Whole Food Nut is a health and nutrition start-up company in San Diego, driven by one passionate health nut.  The CEO (Chief Eating Officer) is a Nutritionist, MScN, that’s building a social media platform and producing videos to help humans take steps in leading a healthier life.  The videos show people the benefits of healthy eating, shopping, cooking as well as the importance of nutrition from whole foods.  People are overwhelmed with the mass amount of conflicting nutrition news and influenced by companies or organizations that only care about their bottom line, not your health.  I want to simplify and break down what this means for them as well as provide easy tools to incorporate into their lives. 

Nearly 75% of all deaths in the US are attributed to just 10 causes, with the top 3 accounting for over 50% of all deaths.  8 of these 10 are diseases that are largely preventable through a healthy lifestyle involving a balanced diet and regular physical activity (Heart disease, Cancer, Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease, Stroke, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Flu/Pneumonia and Kidney Disease).  Food contains information that speaks to our genes, not just calories for energy.  What you eat can be either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. 

Challenge: Identify Obstacles Around Meal Choices

An important step in helping people get healthy is to identify obstacles around their meal choices and provide them with tools to get started in the right direction. With handy recipe tips, guidance and nutrition facts, people can select healthy meal options. 

For this challenge, each team is asked to design and develop a software application that can guide users towards healthier meal choices.  Each team is invited to think through the process of collecting, reviewing and coding SAD (standard American diet) recipes, that can be converted to healthier recipe options.  Each food item in a recipe (protein, carb and fat) can either be a SAD or healthy choice.  When a participant submits a recipe to the website, healthier options are provided from them.  For instance, if they entered a recipe with fried rice and fried pork using canola oil, the healthy recipe swap would provide options for replacement such as: 

  • black rice, millet, quinoa or amaranth instead of fried rice
  • tofu, tempeh or fish instead of fried pork
  • coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil or ghee instead of canola oil

Once they select the healthy options, a nutrition label can appear that shows the difference between the 2 recipe choices; providing basic calorie, carb, fat, protein, fiber and sugar percentages.  Providing healthy options can be an effective strategy to educate and engage humans in choosing and creating healthy habits. 

How to enter

Each team is to create one account and submit a presentation file or public accessible URL to an online presentation file that is used to guide your presentation for judges and includes the following:

  • Team name and the challenge addressed.
  • Names and schools of team members.
  • Target users of your Contest Application.
  • Strategies adopted by the Contest Application to address the selected challenge.
  • Overview of the Contest Application. Use of visual such as storyboard and screenshots is encouraged. Clearly distinguish prototype and features implemented via programming.
  • The implementation environment for the Contest Application.

In addition, upload a zip file containing the Contest Application and related instructions for event organizer to access/recreate the Contest Application for the purpose of verifying claimed features in the presentation. Awards may be revoked if intentional misleading claims are made in the presentation.


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Names Not Revealed
Each entry will be judged by four judges who will will assign a score of 1–10 for each of the following categories.

Judging Criteria

  • Appropriateness to Theme
    How well does the Contest App address the selected challenge? Are the target users clearly identified? What strategies have been incorporated to address the special needs of the target users?
  • User Experience & Functionality
    How well does the Contest Application provide clearly defined and intuitive user experience? What strategies have been incorporated to engage users?
  • Originality & Impact
    How does the Contest Application present original ideas in addressing the selected challenge? What is its potential to affect its target users in their approach to the issues raised in the selected challenge?
  • Technical Difficulty #1: Prototype
    How well does the prototype provide a comprehensive and dynamic representation/simulation of the proposed software solution for the selected challenge?
  • Technical Difficulty #2: Implementation
    To what degree has the Contest App been implemented in programming language(s) (text-based, graphic-based, or a combination)? To what degree has the team pushed themselves to take on new programming challenges when implementing the Contest App?