March 19, 2019
Two middle school students place third in high school hackathon
Two Upper St. Clair middle school students earned the Third Overall Project Award at the FCHacks competition on March 2, 2019, at Fox Chapel Area High School. Mahir Parmar, grade 7, and Ishaan Sharma, grade 6, designed and built a Proficient Document Flipper (PDF) during the 12-hour, high school hackathon.
The students’ creation was a tool to automatically flip the pages of a book as well as digitize the document, converting it into pdf files. The purpose of the document flipper was to be able to assist musicians, people with physical disabilities, and others who could turn the page of any book with a hand gesture or foot switch.
Although FCHacks is intended to be a competition for high school students, middle school students with a background in technology are able to request permission to participate. Mahir and Ishaan have previously participated in FIRST Lego League robotics, which provided the background knowledge in the hardware and software used during the hackathon competition.
According to its website, “FCHacks is a hackathon for high schoolers in the Pittsburgh region organized by Fox Chapel High School. A hackathon is a competition during which students who are interested in exploring computer science or engineering team up and build cool projects (apps, games, robots, or whatever they're excited about). FCHacks is open to students with a variety of skill levels—no prior knowledge or experience needed.”
Projects were judged based on a rubric of five criteria: completion, usefulness, originality, technical difficulty and pitch. Mahir and Ishaan received a $200 prize for their third place finish.
For more information about FCHacks, visit www.fchacks.io.