Girls Who Code Alumni at Code and Response Hackathon in Astor Place NYC on July 23, 2019

Girls who code – Code and Response Hackathon
Seven teams made up of enthusiastic Girls Who Code alumni were hosted at IBM Astor Place by Kelcey Gosserand of IBM and her team of developer advocates. Members of the Girls Who Code organization also joined us. The almuni are studying at various universities and had been part of a Girls Who Code summer program in prior years. Kelcey welcome the participants and then invited Beth Smith General Manager of Watson AI to give a keynote, and chair a panel that described the opportunities for careers in IBM. The panel was dynamic and interactive – with much audience engagement including many questions about cybersecurity.

Then Pooja Mistry, Roger Osorio and Susan Malaika presented IBM cloud services, United Nations Geneva Starter Kits to use as the basis of hackathon solutions, and methods for design thinking and brainstorming together with a structure to reach a hackathon solution in a few hours. There is more on the Geneva Starter Kits at the end of this blog entry.

The Girls Who Code worked intensively in teams (S.O.S., Krisis, CIVILIAN, Mobilizing to the Mobility, EscapeRoute, Virgil, FindMyChild) on their projects, mentored by a selection of IBMers like Sabtain Khan and Krithika Prakash. After presenting to the judges, the top 2 teams were selected. Project CIVILIAN came second, and project Krisis came first. Krisis helps people in flood situations. The project also builds on OWL the winning @CallforCode solution in 2018. The Krisis project is inspired by the Geneva challenge 2 starter kit https://developer.ibm.com/callforcode/starters/water/ In fact all the solutions in this hackathon were inspired by various Geneva Starter Kits.

On of the guests at the hackathon was Yulia Ovchinnikova who is leading the Hudson Valley Tech Festival (a conference and a hackathon) on October 11-12, Newburgh. All are welcome to participate.

At the end of the day, the participating Girls Who Code were asked what they got out of the day. Here are some of the responses:

  • Creating networks when no operational network
  • Learned Node Red and IBM Tech
  • Come up with better ideas through listening
  • Impressed by Tone Analyzer
  • Empathy: Put oneself in another person’s shoes
  • Able to find a way to solve a problem through the process
  • Anything is possible
  • Want to be a developer advocate


The Participating Teams

Team 1

Project Search Optimize System (S.O.S.) – A communication device in public places to alert for upcoming disasters and to enable survivors in a disaster to get help. The solutions builds on project OWL the winning @CallforCode solution in 2018. The solution is inspired by the starter kits from Geneva

Project Search Optimize System (S.O.S.)

Team 2

Project Krisis – To help people in flood situation – The project also builds on OWL the winning @CallforCode solution in 2018 – The solutions is inspired by the Geneva challenge 2 starter kit https://developer.ibm.com/callforcode/starters/water/

Project Krisis

Team 3

Project CIVILIAN – a platform for civilians to report incidents and for volunteer to help survivors and to share their skills – also government officials and first responders can use the platform –The solutions is inspired by the Geneva with the United Nations challenges https://developer.ibm.com/callforcode/starters/

Project CIVILIAN

Team 4

Project Mobilizing to the Mobility Disabled – The platform uses a variety of @WatsonServices & Serverless to support the disabled population focused on people who cannot move or use their hands– The project is inspired by Challenge 3 Starter Kit from Geneva https://developer.ibm.com/callforcode/starters/human/ – Humanitarian Protection in Times of Disaster

Project Mobilizing to the Mobility Disabled

Team 5

Project EscapeRoute to help disabled communities to find the best way to get away from disasters – The tean use #AdaLovelace as their persona – The team compared with apps that are already in the market which do not provide next best action like project EscapeRoute The project is inspired by Challenge 3 Starter Kit from Geneva

Project EscapeRoute

Team 6

Project Virgil to help people get away from natural disasters – Their persona they chose was Alice in Tampa – The app has various buttons for Alice – panic button, locate family member button. The app is straight to the point – The team plans to publicize the Virgil app during voter registration

Project Virgil

Team 7

Project FindMyChild – Fluorescent bracelets that send messages e.g., through @callforcode project OWL to locate child distributed at pharmacies, homeless shelters, Drones will locate the missing children. Tracking would take place only in the case of a disaster, They are planning to work through @girlswhocode to deploy the solutions.

Project FindMyChild


Summary of Geneva challenges

An overview of the Geneva event https://cacm.acm.org/news/238078-coding

The starter kits: https://developer.ibm.com/callforcode/blogs/inaugural-un-human-rights-ibm-event-cfc-starter-kits-disaster-response/

The solution starter kits produced at the Geneva hackathon  https://developer.ibm.com/callforcode/starters/

Slides that Susan Malaika used at the Girls Who Code Codeathon https://developer.ibm.com/opentech/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2019/07/GirlsWhoCode_2019_Malaika_20190723b-geneva.pdf


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