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Technology for Everybody at HackTUES 365

Team DevriX mentoring students at a hackathon HackTUES 365

We had an amazing time last weekend at a local hackathon HackTUES 365. Students worked on technology projects for two days and presented great products at the end. Their projects were related to AI, robotics, brain games, online web platforms, voice software, just to name a few.

Team DevriX supported the event and we had 6 mentors guiding teams and helping them throughout any challenges with their builds. As our founder Mario Peshev tweeted during the event, we believe that:

“Connecting business and education is the best approach forward.”

Mario Peshev, CEO of DevriX
https://twitter.com/no_fear_inc/status/1107032923549696000

And this is why we gave our best to contribute to the success of this wonderful initiative.

“I am always happy when I contribute to similar events because by mentoring younger generations we help the community flourish.”

Konstantin Dankov, HackTUES Mentor

Apart from mentoring, we also gave a special award to a team that we had selected. We loved this team for their team spirit, motivation, and the social impact which the project they were building has. The project is an automated farming solution, which helps people go green by growing plants.

And the special award was an IT board game, “Developers VS Managers”. Our message to the team that won it is to stick together as a team because the people you can rely on are the most valuable assets in any contest. Building products is not a one-man job. It always requires a team and with our gift we were telling them to stick together in the future so they could take their project to the next level!

HackTUES 365 special award from DevriX
The team we have selected for out special award

To capture the atmosphere of the event we made a video with interviews from some of the participants and organizers. Take a look at the amazing drive and spirit the students have:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hl8npL5yPg&t=8s
Dive in the atmosphere of HackTUES 365

And below is the whole story behind the event and what happened there.

Who Are TUES – Technological School of Electronic Systems?

A significant part of DevriX’s developers and interns have graduated from TUES. TUES (Technological School Electronic Systems) is a highly acknowledged technology high school in Sofia, Bulgaria, associated with the Technical University of Sofia.

Students learn various programming languages and technologies in each grade. Each year TUES organizes a hackathon called HackTUES and last weekend was the 5th edition of the competition.

Who Is Organizing HackTUES?

The amazing part about organizing the hackathon is that it’s done by students from the school. Teachers look after the work process during the organization to ensure all goes smoothly. To us at DevriX, this is amazing, because students who organize the event gain precious experience and have a chance to prove how responsible and adaptive they can be.

Here is the motivation to contribute to the event of Mihail Gerginov, one of the HackTUES organizers:

“First of all I want to develop my web-development skills, secondly I want to gain more experience in collaborating with others and last, but not least, I want to learn to do my work in a scheduled fashion.”

Mihail Gerginov, HackTUES organizer
HackTUES organizers are students from TUES
HackTUES organizers are students from TUES

Who Is Participating in the Hackathon?

Each student from the school could take part in the hackathon and compete with each other no matter which grade they are in (participants were between 14-18 years old). Students grouped in teams from 3 to 5 person, planned a project, created an actionable strategy then went for it.

Students were quite motivated to build their projects at HackTUES
Students were quite motivated to build their projects

What Happened at the Event?

It was on Friday morning (March, 15th) when the event started. And teams had exactly 48 hours to build their projects (until Sunday, March, 17th, 9.00 AM).

Everyone’s mood was exalted and one could feel the motivation everywhere. Teams were competing but at the same time, they were helping each other.

Motivated students at a school hackathon
Team “–IDK–” created a robot hand

“It is awesome how everyone helps one another despite that they’re competing against one another.”

Bozhidar Valchovski, HackTUES Mentor

And this was because all of them put knowledge, experience, and aspiration ahead of the award and as one of the organizers Ivo Karaneshev said:

“It is like a brotherhood here”.

Ivo Karaneshev, HackTUES organizer

For everyone “winning” meant not so much being declared first by the jury, but to be able to create a meaningful project in two short days. And they did it. Everyone was a winner in the end because all of the teams put a lot of effort and managed to bring life to their own projects.

“I want to develop and learn something new with our mentors so I can progress in the future.”

Todor Kulchev, Team “- -IDK-“

There were 45 teams – more than 200 hundred students – who decided to dedicate their weekend to technology and took part in the hackathon.

“As a former student of the school I participated in HackTUES years ago, and what can I say, this event only gets better each year.”

Mariyan Belchev, HackTUES Mentor

And it was written on everyone’s face that they are enjoying their time. The main topic of the event was “Technology for everybody” and it was divided into two subtopics: “Professional Technologies” for business-related projects and “Life Technologies” for social projects.

“The event this year is bigger than ever. There are very interesting projects and in my opinion, all of the projects are the best.”

Teodora Yovcheva, HackTUES organizer
Students building tech projects at HackTUES 365
One of the youngest teams at HackTUES 365

Among some of the projects were the following builds:

  • Team “LociTalkED”: A communication system without a network operator.
  • Team “Feather’s Land”: A web platform for publishing stories, novels, and poetry.
  • Team “Watch It”: A platform which helps users find a movie or a play and the best place and price to watch it.
  • Team “Reaction”: A fun brain game related to chemistry.
  • Team “AirMouse”: A computer mouse that cools your hand when it sweats.
  • Team “Phoneix”: An Android App for time management at work.
  • Team “Furry-Chainsaw”: A coffee machine with voice controls.
  • Team “--IDK–”: A robot hand made with Arduino and an App (made with App Inventor) that controls it through Bluetooth.

And a lot more…

In the end, the 1st place went to team “VoiceCV”. They had an invention that helps the blind navigate their surroundings. It uses artificial intelligence as a personal assistant and is a hat with a camera, microphone, and headphones.

To Sum It Up

To be honest, we don’t believe there were any winners or losers in this hackathon. Everybody won because everybody took part in something special and learned new things.

“Despite having not won an award, students from the team I coached felt like winners, because of the effort they have put forth and the project they created.

Ignat Georgiev, HackTUES Mentor

It was an honor for me to mentor such a creative and motivated team of students.

Mariyan Dimitrov, HackTUES Mentor

On Monday, these students came back to their classrooms, but they kept their motivation to further develop the projects they started at HackTUES 365 and change the world. As Daniel Genev from Team “Sub2Pewds” said:

“Technology is important because it’s part of everyone’s life.”

Daniel Genev, Team “Sub2Pewds”

“The energy of HackTUES motivates everyone, it’s wonderful to see how students who are there have the ambition to create a project and gain experience.”

Dian Tankov
Marketing Relations Manager at DevriX, and author of this article 🙂

Can’t wait for the next edition of HackTues to come!

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