Monday, 1 April 2019

Hacksoton Celebrates 10 years of Hacking in Southampton 2019


Hacksoton celebrated its tenth year of running a one-day hack event in Southampton. The event is organised by EtchUK and made possible by a plethora of sponsors and volunteers and always proves to be an inspiration from the very young to the very experienced.


This was the 3rd year we were involved (we missed last year, sadly) and the small hall activities, aimed at families with children, was buzzing.

Fancy seeing what we did at Hacksoton in previous years? See:


Tech Age Kids hosted a micro:bit workshop based on our book micro:bit in Wonderland. It was only one of many other interesting workshops on offer, including learning to create a game in Unity, designing with Sketchup and making your own skill (AI powered app) for Amazon's Alexa.



There was plenty to see and many experiences to be had, including a Henry (vacuum-cleaner) music machine, giant LEGO that actually drove around, VR experience interacting with a robot using Oculus, 3D printing with SoMakeIt and codebug hacking with Barclays Eagle Labs, Bournemouth.




There was even some side room activities, one which helped my youngest son (8 years) learn the skill of lock picking. Needless to say, he wants to unpick our front door lock now instead of using the key. He also loved the giant marble run table, where kids and adults joined forces to build a track using Ravensberg's new Gravitrax kit.



The main hall was filled with adults and young people choosing to work on a project the whole day. It was great to see so many children taking part as well as parent-child teams working together. My favourite was a mother-daughter team that made a gesture controller buggy using micro:bits and inspired by the Mini Mu Glove made by the amazing Helen Leigh.




Creative minds were fuelled by food and drink throughout the day and it all ended with an inspiring Show-and-Tell where people shared their projects from the day. It was fantastic to see so many children present and in my opinion, they stole the show!

Hacksoton and similar events are brilliant ways to introduce children to new skills and learn about different technologies. If you're local to Southampton, look out for the event next year, otherwise, find similar hack events, maker faires or STEAM events for a fun family day out.






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