Hack the Earth — Canada’s largest environmental hackathon — came back virtually for a second year on June 4–6, 2021. With a big focus on sustainability, 300+ college and high school students from around the world teamed up to create technological projects focusing on environmental issues. The 3-day event was filled with guest speakers, workshops, and team building exercises. A total of thirty-nine projects were submitted and winning prizes amounted to $CAD3,300. The first place prize also included a virtual private meeting with Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change; the honorable Jonathan Wilkinson.
Participants picked from 5 tracks with broad themes they could use to develop their projects — Oceans, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Public Health, Natural Resources, and Waste.
Guest speakers included:
- Kera Johnson, Software Engineer at Apply Digital
A Front End Engineer at Apply Digital with over 2 years of experience in maintaining and deploying Progressive Web Apps. Kera Johnson spoke at the ending ceremonies on Why Data is the Key to a Sustainable Future.
- Professor Nandita Basu, Associate Professor, Water Sustainability and Ecohydrology
Nandita Basu aims to discover innovative solutions to water sustainability challenges by studying the emergent patterns in landscape, hydrology and biogeochemistry and the role humans play in modifying such patterns. Professor Basu spoke during the fireside chat and discussed the most pressing environmental issues our planet is currently facing.
The Hack the Earth team concluded the event feeling proud of what they accomplished. Despite being virtual and having a limited amount of time, participants were able to develop in depth, high quality submissions and create a strong sense of community with a diverse group of people. They are excited to plan more environmental hackathons in the future.