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First and Second Year Student Hackathon

Saturday, November 25th, 2017 @ 10:00 am8:00 pm


If you’ve never heard of or participated in a hackathon before, the format is simple: Bring your new project ideas and existing coding skills to the event, form a small team, and start coding a solution based on that idea.

Throughout the day, a variety of technical mentors will be present to help answer any questions you may have. A mentor schedule has been provided below.

Meals, snacks, and drinks will be provided to keep you fuelled up!

All teams will be invited to deliver a maximum 5-minute presentation of their solution to the group toward the end of the event (but you don’t have to).

The best part… compete for three (3), $250 cash prizes!


To generate some interesting ideas and start creating a functional software prototype. Hackathons are also a great way to meet new people, earn bragging rights about your coding abilities, win prizes, and have some fun!


Below is a list of optional themes for which you can create a solution—just to get some ideas flowing. It is possible to create a solution that is based on more than one theme or to come up with a completely different theme/idea of your own.

  • Healthy living
  • Gender equality
  • Diversity
  • Senior citizens
  • Performing arts
  • Smart energy
  • Social enterprise

Technical Mentors

To help students with any technical questions they might have, a variety of mentors will be volunteering at the hackathon. Please take a look at the following Technical Mentor Schedule for more information.


The hackathon is scheduled to start on Saturday, November 25th at 10:00 am and end by 8:00 pm.

Time Details
10:00 Kick off
10:15 Form teams, discuss project ideas, begin coding!
12:00 Lunch
5:30 Pizza dinner
6:30 Presentations/Voting
7:50 Winners announced and group photos
8:00 Event ends


There will be a total of three (3), $250 prizes in three (3) different categories. It is possible for a team to win in more than one category.

Unlike other hackathons or pitch events, there will be no judging panel as everyone participating in the event will be given the opportunity to cast votes in the three prize categories listed below.

Most social

Develop a solution that has the potential to reach the largest amount of people. “Most social” can also be interpreted as a solution that provides shared experiences or fosters collaboration amongst different groups, brings groups together that normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet, or enriches the quality of time spent together (i.e. meaningful activities with friends, grandparents with grandchildren, etc) as a group.

Most humourous

One of the primary goals of this competition is to have fun. Winners of this prize category have the opportunity to showcase their funny side and develop a game, mobile app, or other piece of software that is clever and makes people laugh.

Remember, the solution has to be in good taste and everyone is expected to follow the appropriate student Code of Conduct at Dalhousie.

Most complete

It wouldn’t be a coding hackathon if participants just presented ideas without any code! Most complete will be measured on the level completed functionality as intended for the solution. A solution with a simple feature set that is more complete will not necessarily win over a solution that contains a more challenging feature set that is less complete.


  • All participants must be either a first or second-year undergraduate-level student. Non-Dalhousie students in other post-secondary programs at the first and second year undergraduate level are also welcome to participate.
  • All participants must register online in advance of the event start date and time
  • Team size must be between 2-4 students
  • To be eligible for prizes, at least one team member must present the team’s solution, in-person, at the hackathon
  • Prizes will be distributed equally amongst all group members
  • Prizes are non-negotiable and cannot be substituted
  • Winning teams will be determined by (an adaptation of) dotmocracy voting. Additional details will be disclosed in the hackathon.


Saturday, November 25th, 2017
10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Event Tags:


ShiftKey Labs


Dalhousie University Goldberg Computer Science Building (Room 426, ShiftKey Labs)
6050 University Ave.
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2 Canada
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