Event Spotlight: CruzHacks 2021
As a new year kicks off, so does our partnership with CruzHacks — the largest hackathon in Santa Cruz, California — for the third year in a row! This year’s CruzHacks event was their first-ever virtual run, where they welcomed hackers from 25+ countries and 185+ schools for a weekend of innovation, collaboration, and inspiration. Between two days of student- and sponsor-led workshops, hackers created projects that aimed to solve problems involving climate change, healthcare, and social justice.
Unlike previous years, CruzHacks decided to forgo the traditional “best overall”/rank-based prizes in favor of theme-based category prizes this year. According to Co-President Kelly Fesler, “We wanted to foster a collaborative environment instead of a competitive one; by deconstructing the prize hierarchy, we gave attendees more room to experiment within our various themes (Tech Cares, Best UI/UX, Best Cruz Hack, Best Beginner, etc) and challenge themselves to try new technology at our event. This was an effort to rekindle the original spirit of the competition: building, learning, and pushing the boundaries of one’s knowledge.”
For Earth Hacks, in the span of 36 hours, 300 attendees, and 38 submitted projects, one project — “Honeycomb — Shop Greener” — stood out from the rest. The winning Earth Hacks track team team (Andrea Sudharta, Cora Xing, and Athena Liu) designed a Chrome extension that finds green alternatives to products on Amazon, and took home prizes consisting of sustainable tech products.
“Working on the Earth Hacks track has been a great experience since our team is passionate about the environment and technology, with one of us minoring in oceanographic and geological sciences. We’re happy to know we made a product that has the potential to encourage environmentally friendly consumer and business practices!” -Andrea Sudharta
You can view all of the Earth Hacks winners (and all the rest!) here, and follow Cruz Hacks on social media @cruzhacks to stay up to date on all their amazing accomplishments.