Technology has already become an integral part of our everyday lives. Computers, smartphones, and tablets are so common that many of us cannot imagine their lives without the internet and various devices that simplify all our everyday activities. However, some people have never even seen the world without computer technologies because they were born during the era of fast microprocessors. Although many young kids and teenagers consider engineering and scientific careers to be difficult, there are also kids who think that computer science is interesting and fun. When kids grow up playing video games, many of them want to learn more about the underlying technologies, and the internet gives them access to everything they need.
As kids learn the basics of software and hardware engineering, it becomes important to let them know that such a hobby is a very good choice that may become a career. It’s important to teach kids all the necessary knowledge and skills, including teamwork. They also should be able to apply their knowledge to real problems, understanding the actual challenges of the industry and being able to come up with their own creative solutions. It’s impossible to teach your kid all these things at home. They should be able to test their skills and to see what the real development process looks like. Fortunately, kids’ hackathons give children a chance to learn more and to prepare for more serious work.
Kids Hackathon: What Is It?
A hackathon is an event where many engineers and designers gather together to collaborate on various software or hardware projects. Such events are usually short and aimed to create a functioning solution by the end of a meeting. Quite often, there are several teams competing with each other, trying to present the best solution. Hackathons for kids, in general, are no different from the “adult” ones.
Many people point out that kids’ hackathons are even more than just playgrounds. Katelyn Lynch, a technical writer at College-Writers, explains: “On one hand, hackathons allow kids to learn more about technologies. On the other hand, there are many people talking about the future of technology and what it may look like. Kids’ hackathons allow us to learn how the actual developers of the future solve actual problems.”
Main Benefits of Bringing Your Teens to a Hackathon
They can create new ideas and concepts
Hackathons teach kids problem-solving and familiarize them with the environment developers are working in. They can meet other kids who work in other fields, train the existing skills, and learn something new. The most important thing is that they can collaborate and create solutions that actually work.
They can learn networking
Hackathons are events that gather people with similar skills and interests. This is a perfect environment for kids to learn networking. Encourage your child to share contacts with other participants and, maybe, they will continue to collaborate in the future.
They can learn product development
Hackathons are more than just an opportunity to write your own piece of code or come up with a new idea. The main idea of a hackathon is to allow kids to develop a viable solution to a real problem. They get a chance to create a prototype that can become a real product.
They learn the market
It’s not enough to just develop a solution. Hackathons teach your kids that their solutions should meet the demand of the market. They can understand that their ideas should be interesting not only for them but also for potential consumers and investors. They will learn how to create solutions people will want to pay for, working on relevant problems and thinking in terms of the technology market.
There are many tech-related companies that create hackathons for kids from time to time, however, if you cannot find such events nearby, it doesn’t mean that your talented teenager cannot participate in regular hackathons. For example, AT&T IOT hackathon allowed everyone to participate for free.
Given the importance of technology for our everyday lives, there’s no surprise many kids become interested in engineering and computer science. Modern kids have everything they need to learn to code: there are various free online courses and programs created especially for kids. They can learn robotics and AI, creating their own solutions, and making their first steps towards their future career in engineering.
However, there are many things which are impossible to learn at home: teamwork, product development, market trends, etc. Hackathons allow kids to test their skills and to gain their first experience working with a team, and solving actual problems.