First FHSST Hackathon of 2010

It was awesome!

Great turnout + great food + great people + great atmosphere = excellent work done!

We arrived at our venue on the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus armed with laptops, snacks, drinks, FHSST books, FHSST chapter printouts, a projector, pens, paper, and our brand new poster (we ran a competition on 99designs and have just had our winning poster printed). Hackathon poster There we found Wendy and Kosma ready and waiting for us, and were soon joined by Bianca from the UCT society, Teach Out. No sooner had we set up our laptops and decided where to create a snack table, and our volunteers started arriving. And they kept on arriving until there were 22 of us in total!

Everyone sat around chatting in groups while Mark set up for the welcome presentation. He talked everyone through his role at the Shuttleworth Foundation, the projects under the Siyavula umbrella, and the open licenses that the books and website content falls under. Boys hard at workOnce everyone understood what the FHSST project was all about, they selected a chapter from the Grade 10 Maths or Physical Science textbooks to work through, and, equipped with their info sheets, help documents and dvd of open software (such as Firefox, Google Chrome and OpenOffice), everyone clustered in groups working on either Maths, Physics or Chemistry.

It wasn’t long before everyone was comfortably working on the model solutions for the end of chapter exercises. The atmosphere was somewhat jovial as the groups chatted about the work and munched away on the snacks we provided.Discussion around a problem Heather and Mark were responding to queries surrounding answering the questions, while Natalia and I dealt with the additional chapter assignments and finalising the pizza order.

And what a lot of pizza we ordered! Butler’s almost couldn’t keep up with our large order (note to self: next week notify them ahead of time for the large order that will be coming in!). Natalia, Mark and pizza!But, Butler’s outdid themselves when 45 minutes later we each had a hot and delicious pizza in front of us, which gave everyone the fuel they needed to push through the last 15 minutes of the Hackathon.

We are very pleased with the amount of work that our volunteers managed to get through, and as a team we feel that the event went very well, especially considering the majority of the volunteers had never been to a Hackathon before. Hard work and pizzaBased on the buzz in the room and the feedback we received from some of the people, we think our first Hackathon was a huge success!

Thank you very much to everyone that came – see you next week!

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