Raccoons may not be the commonest sight in Latvia under normal circumstances, but a group of them are inviting people to hack, create and learn coding skills in a 48-hour STEM hackathon.
“The Reaccoons is a 48-hour hackathon that empowers students who are eager to learn by providing an environment for them to explore, build, and create. Around 100 students will gather to learn more about technology and explore the realms of science and creativity,” say organisers of the event which is taking place in Riga, Latvia on March 27-29. The event, based on the international student hackathon Major League Hacking format, is aimed at students with any level of experience and tries to foster an environment for curiosity towards tech and exploration by offering workshops and mentors on the spot, teaching the basics of coding and technology.
“Hackathons are a great playground that offers opportunities to meet like-minded people and spend the weekend building funky ideas with them, meanwhile learning and exchanging new technical skills in a fun and collaborative environment, open to participants both with basic coding skills or none at all. Student hackathons, in particular, are a movement that has been only growing, however, there hasn’t been one in the region, so we decided to create one of our own,” says one of the hackathon organizers and herself a coder, Lina Marta Sarma.
The Raccoons is organized by representatives of the Latvian tech ecosystem, partnering with student and startup non-governmental organizations, including TechChill, TechHub Riga, Latvian Startup association, Riga TechGirls, Visas Iespējas, GameDev, Student Union of the University of Latvia and others.
Organizers will provide a platform to connect and empower students to brainstorm, build and validate new or existing ideas, for example, creating digital art, computer games, build websites, applications, data visualizations, and more. The participants will be challenged to offer ideas and build projects in the field of creative coding, open-source, use of domain name and data visualization, or just build an individual project outside of any track
Participants will have a chance to attend workshops during the event on Creative Coding with P5.JS, Design Thinking/UI, Intro to Github, Basics of HTML/CSS, and Servers 101. The content of all workshops will be suited to beginners and held by developers and entrepreneurs, who will bring their experience from different fields of coding. Mentor roaster includes Janis Vegis, Founder of Finch, Austris Cirulnieks, Software Engineer at Alta Flora