Social Impact Hackathon

As part of the 2024 Basildon Creative Tech Festival, we ran a "Hackathon for Social Impact".

We held two online meetings on 12th + 19th February 2024, 7pm-9pm and worked remotely on Discord.

Social Impact Hackathon

Contribute to a social cause to help Basildon's local community thrive!
Ideate, plan and develop a project that promotes the social cause of your choice.

social-impact-hackathon
  • Ideate, plan and develop a project
  • Work as a team to promote a social cause
  • Share and develop your tech skills with other likeminded people

The "Creative Tech for Social Impact Hackathon" is a hackathon event (for people aged 18+) that will take place online.

During the Zoom meeting on Monday 12th February, the participants will be introduced to the settings, rules and requirements of the hackathon, as well as get to know one another and form teams. They will then have a week to plan and develop their projects.

The Zoom meeting on Monday 19th February will be dedicated to project presentations and team reflections.

The development of the projects can involve any form of technology the teams would like to use (for example Data Science, Web Development, Virtual Reality).

A hackathon is a dynamic and collaborative gathering where participants come together to unleash their creativity and innovation by working on a project.

Whether it's crafting cutting-edge software applications, developing innovative hardware solutions, designing user-friendly interfaces or even exploring new realms of virtual reality, the possibilities are endless.

Throughout this event, you'll have the opportunity to dive into problem-solving, coding, and design to bring your ideas to life and create a compelling project that showcases your skills and ingenuity.

Get ready to create!

WHEN

Monday 12th - 19th February

7pm - 9pm

WHERE

Online (Zoom)

Projects

An app to connect communities / an assistive speech recognition device / a web app to track Basildon's social wellbeing / a visuals and music installation / a pothole detector and mapper -  These are the projects initiated at the Creative Tech for Social Impact Hackathon.

A hackathon is a dynamic and collaborative gathering where participants come together to unleash their creativity and innovation by working on a project. Whether it's crafting cutting-edge software applications, developing innovative hardware solutions, designing user-friendly interfaces or even exploring new realms of virtual reality, the possibilities are endless.

The "Creative Tech for Social Impact Hackathon", organised by Southend Tech, took place online and in person, as part of the festival. Teams were formed during the first online meet-up, they then had a week to plan and develop their projects. Some of these intial ideas will be further developed over the coming weeks and months during Southend Tech's regular inperson and online meetups (over 18s only). GET INVOLVED.

 


THE PROJECTS

HIROEK

An app that gives you the platform to create and engage with communities and other social causes.

It will empower grassroots organisations to extend reach to amplify their crucial role in advancing social wellbeing. And it will allow users to connect with friends and other like-minded people to discuss topics they care about in a safe, moderated environment.

Visit the HIROEK website to learn more and sign up for priority access.


NIKKI - Assistive Speech Recognition Device

The team behind NIKKI is training an AI model to recognise words from a person with a speech impairment that might not otherwise be able to use a personal assistant such as Alexa or Siri.

The sound is turned into a picture (a spectrogram - a visual representation of the spectrum of frequencies of a signal as it varies with time). The AI outputs a response which controls a TV using infrared LEDs.

The aim is to create a model that can ultimately run on a stand-alone (no internet required) microcontroller based board to detect a specific set of words that will result in the effective control of devices in the user's environment.

The team will continue to develop NIKKI at Southend Tech meetups and plan to build a working prototype.


How are you Basildon?

This web application aims to track the town's social wellbeing in order to raise awareness around mental health in Basildon.

Registered users would be invited to rate (on a sliding scale) how they are feeling, how their day is and how their health is - along with which district they're in.

The resulting (anonymised) outputs would show up on a heat-map of the area, giving a real-time indication of general community wellbeing. 


Auto Pothole Detector

This project aims to create an efficient and real-time pothole detection and mapping solution. By collaborating with local authorities and road maintenance teams, we can improve road safety and infrastructure maintenance.

  • Detect potholes: Use the Micro:bit accelerometer to identify sudden jolts or impacts (indicative of potholes) in vehicles.
  • Collect GPS data: Utilize the GPS sensor to obtain accurate location coordinates.
  • Visualize potholes: Display pothole locations on a real-time map accessible via a central server.  

Open Air Visuals and Music Installation

The team's idea is to increase interest and awareness in contemporary arts, and technology's use within the field.

This would be achieved with an open air installation where visuals in the form of moving Lissajous figures would be projected onto suitable buildings, together with an accompanying ambient music background.

Click the project video button to see an example of how the projection would work.










More details on Southend Tech here.

In 2024, we ran a Hackathon for Social Impact as part of Basildon Creative Tech Festival.
The hackathon follows our Essex County Council Challenge Dementia Hackathon and Southend Smart City Raspberry Jam following our coding ofSouthend Council's Pepper Robot.


If you are interested in learning more about tech, collaborating on projects, learning about careers and technologies, we would love to meet you at our online Southend Coding Meetups and in person Southend Tech Meetups.


Southend Tech Meetup (over 18s)
Every 3rd Thursday of the month, 7pm – 10pm
The Board Game Hut, just off Southend High Street (£6 on entry to the shop)
More details here.

Southend Coding Meetup - online (over 18s)
Mondays, 7pm-9pm
More details here.



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