Pippa Mann speaks in preparation for Coder Hackathon


Pippa Mann addresses CoderDojo students in late 2017, when CoderDojo first launched. She spoke to the students again June 17 about the importance of design, coding and technology on the race track. (Photo by Heather Lusk)

Race car driver Pippa Mann spoke at Zionsville Community High School June 17 about the importance of design in technology to help motivate Zionsville CoderDojo students for the July 28 Coder Hackathon and Design Competition.

Mann told the students every product they use has to be designed by someone, and that form and function are extremely important in product use. As a result, desgin and technology go hand-in-hand.

Jon Gilman, CEO of Clear Software in Zionsville, helped found the Zionsville

chapter of CoderDojo in September 2017. CoderDojo has nearly 100 students,  ranging in age from 7 to 17. Most are older than 10. The occasion marks the first time the Zionsville students will be involved in the Hackathon.

“(The event on) Sunday was a call-out to get kids in interested in the Coder Hackathon and Design Competition that take place in July,” Gilman said.

The Coder Hackathon is comprised of four separate competitions. Students can build a mobile app with a group of two to six; build a video game with a group of two to six; compete in an individual Python competition; or compete in an individual Scratch competition. Python and Scratch are two of the programming languages taught at the Dojo.

The Zionsville CoderDojo Design Competition is parallel to the Hackathon. Anyone Zionsville resident 7 to 17 can design a logo for CoderDojo. The winner will receive a cash prize, and the winning logo will be printed on T-shirts and sold on Mann’s website. The winning student keeps the profits. Designs must be submitted by July 13.

“We want to teach kids that even if they are more artistically oriented, they can have a career in the technology industry or any industry where design is important,” Gilman said. “A lot of times, kids growing up that are artistic think the only thing they will do after college is work for a museum. We want to challenge that notion.”

Sign up for the Coder Hackathon: techpointyouth.org/2018-hackathon/

Sign up for Zionsville CoderDojo’s Design competition: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScxiUARDZfIYSfibO4skxRU-0raebWqu4_e0OzXd3GxMcSWrA/viewform

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