Event Recap — CatHacks
CatHacks, the largest student-run hackathon in Kentucky, took place once again for the seventh year in a row, on April 8th-10th, 2022. This 2-day in-person event focused on hackers being able to explore and build out ideas as they wished, rather than keeping the focus on just any specific idea. This year, the event aimed to create a hackathon experience where hackers of varying skill sets could compete and succeed by providing as many different avenues for success as possible. For instance, participants were able to work on anything from “Best Video Game or AR/VR” track to “Best First-Time Hack” track. Likewise, their “Pick Your Problem” track with EartHacks further served this purpose, by providing a wide degree of project types to be submitted while also having the option to combine a number of different tracks together.
In addition, CatHacks2022 provided several beginner-friendly workshops, as well as hosted a variety of mini-events to help hackers network throughout the day. Since returning to in-person hackathons, close to 50 hackers were in attendance submitting a total of 13 projects.
Over $1K in prizes were awarded at this year’s event. However, every hacker left as a winner, whether it was via a project/mini-event prize or simply learning and networking throughout the event.
1st Place — Phantom Mansion
2nd Place — Chesstris
3rd Place — Modular Automatic Model Railroad Crossing Controller
CatHacks featured a few guest speakers including:
- Lucas Cockerham from Opentext
- Joi Frederick from DrakeSoftware
- Fawziyah Alebiosu from MLH.
- And a workshop from Earth Hacks!
Tyler Burkett, one of the organizers for CatHacks, shared with us his thoughts on this year’s hackathon.
“The thing I’m most proud of about this hackathon is how well my team and I were able to run it as a physical event despite some setbacks. Overall, due to the gap in time with physical hackathons due to COVID, we were a team with no experience hosting one and with less insight from prior teams than ideal. Additionally, our event ended up occurring on a weekend with several other large events in the area, such as the opening day at Keeneland. Despite this, not only did we get almost 50 people to attend the event but it was one of the most well-run hackathons our team has hosted, even when compared to the digital hackathons we hosted previously.”