Geeks unite at Kingsmead College #Hackathon to create solutions for government hospitals

Children of all ages and their mentors are challenged to develop an app which can be used in government hospitals. Photo: Laura Pisanello


Kingsmead College in partnership with Africa Teen Geeks hosted a Hackathon at the school on 3 and 4 June to encourage young minds to come up with practical solutions to a South African problem.

The Hackathon challenged 78 children of all ages to develop an app to improve or automate the admission and discharge system at government hospitals.

Teen Geeks from Kingsmead College participated in the day.

Lulu Burger, the information and communication technology­ and innovation co-ordinator for Kingsmead College said, “In our Hack4Health initiative we chose to try and solve the challenges that patients at public hospitals face when booking in and seeing a doctor.

“The kids had to critically assess the reality of the situation, explore what is actually happening and then brainstorm creative ideas to solve this challenge. Coding an app to be the solution is where the real skill came in. Thinking creatively around how technology can solve all the complex areas of this problem is the real challenge.”

Ndaba Mandela, founder of Africa Rising, a non-profit organisation which focuses on development in Africa, gave a talk at the Hackathon. “To focus on our kids is to focus on tomorrow. So for us at Africa Rising it’s all about youth empowerment. There are a lot of kids who are really outstanding and outspoken and they will shock you with the solutions they propose,” said Mandela.

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He added that although they currently only work with teenagers from high school, they do plan on broadening their reach to work with primary school children.

Tracy Penny, one of the mentors at the Hackathon said, “It’s about collaborating and getting to know each other and understanding who does what and how to work together. They’ve been very creative and a lot of questions have been asked so it’s great.”

Burger said, “The winning team used a combination of JavaScript and HTML to create a complete solution. They were resourceful and creative using technology effectively to cover all the crucial areas of this challenge. Table 8 came in third place, Table 5 came in second place and the winning team was Table 4. The winning team was awarded R5 000 while the two runner-up teams were awarded R3 000 and R2 000 respectively.


Tell us what you think of the #Hackathon at Kingsmead College on Twitter @RK_Gazette.

Laura Pisanello

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