Hearst Museum is hosting a hackathon, and it isn’t just for coders

Hearst Museum/Courtesy

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Did you know the UC Berkeley’s Hearst Museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Mexican Saltillo sarapes? Neither did we!

In an effort to increase the public’s knowledge about nearly three million artifacts inside the museum, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology is hosting HackTheHearst, a competition to design an app to make the museum’s collections more accessible.

“We need to be much more effective in the way we support research and educational uses of our collections and in the ways we allow descendant populations to interact with our collections,” said Michael Black, head of research and information systems at the Hearst Museum.

On Sept. 10 from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the competition will kick off with guest speakers, lunch and time for groups to start brainstorming ideas.

“HackTheHearst is not just for coders and hackers,” Black said. “To have the best chances of winning HackTheHearst, teams should have a balance of skills and knowledge, including project management, UX (user experience) design, web and UI (user interface) design, domain knowledge and knowledge of the target audience.”

Students will have two weeks to work on their projects and must submit their code to GitHub by 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 21 for judging. Later that day, there will be three rounds of competition in which the grand-prize winners will be selected to present their project to the public. There will also be winners in specific categories, such as best app for K-12 students and educators, researchers and university students, and tribes and heritage communities.

“The exact details are still being worked out, but we’ll be offering a menu of prizes from which the teams will be able to choose, with the first-place team getting first crack and a larger share of the prizes,” Black said.

Students interested in competing can sign up online.

 Image Sources: Featured Image

Contact Elise Lagana-Aliotti at [email protected].