Regis University SCIS sponsorship of Hack4Colorado education track and facilitating brainstorming session helps produce positive results at Colorado civic day of hacking

Donnie VeaseyJune 13, 2013

DENVER) -- Regis University’s School of Computer and Information Sciences (SCIS) sponsorship of Colorado’s civic day of hacking event led to a wealth of positive ideas and a winning team that devised an app that brings mentors together with people who need to learn something. 

SCIS sponsored the education track and facilitated a brainstorming session at Hack4Colorado, conducted May 31-June 2 at Galvanize, where about 100 hackers pursued a goal of using skills and technology to create apps to solve some “very big and interesting problems” and help to improve Colorado. 

Regis University faculty were also on hand to lend support to Hack4Colorado, which was the largest of nearly 100 events conducted across the United States.  SCIS, one of four schools in Regis University’s College for Professional Studies (CPS), was the only Colorado university sponsor of the three-day event.  According to Shari Plantz-Masters, assistant professor of Information Systems in SCIS at Regis University, the whole idea behind Hack4Colorado and SCIS involvement was civic participation and giving back to society.  

“Some teams came with a project in mind needing technical members to round out their plans and other people came with ideas in need of a team,” said Plantz-Masters.  “About 30 ideas were pitched on Friday night (during the brainstorming session), and three teams formed to compete for the prize in the education track. Two teams developed apps directed at grade school and middle school students.”

Tutor Grape, the winning Education Track team, created “a web-based responsive application that is meant to connect people in their cities and neighborhoods who want to learn or help others learn more and/or understand concepts they are learning fully and provide a space in which these people can interact in – quickly, clearly and safely.”  That’s according to information on the Hack4Colorado website.  The web app demo can be viewed at http://tutorgrape.herokuapp.com.

The Education track focused on Pre-K through higher education, and was one of several categories – including health and wellness, sports and fitness, tourism, sustainability, and veterans – where designers, coders, hackers and creative people hacked and built apps to improve Colorado.

Winning teams and their tracks include: Tutorgrape - Education Track Winner, Best use of FullContact API; Trail Safe - Health & Fitness Track Winner; Poll-o-Tron - Open Government Track Winner; Grubb.io - Sustainability Track Winner; and DeVice - Tourism Track Winner, Best In Show.

Regis University students also joined teams in other tracks. One Regis University SCIS student joined the team that created an Open Government application titled iVote.  Another Regis University student joined the team who began on an application called Hired Heroes that will translate the skills of veterans based on their military job classifications to job skills that will help them get jobs.

Another positive outcome of the SCIS sponsorship during Hack4Colorado involved Dan Likarish, assistant professor of Information Technology and director of the Center on Information Assurance Studies at Regis University, connecting with Hired Heroes, which led to on-going conversations about including the Hired Heroes app in with a recent Regis University SCIS grant.

Visit http://www.hack4colorado.com/ to see more information about the winning teams and the apps they created.

CONTACT
Donnie Veasey
Director of Media Relations
303-458-3537
303-204-5986 cell
dveasey@regis.edu
Twitter: @RUmedia