On Saturday, June 11, the Bothell High School Computer Science Club hosted a hackathon in which students from Bothell, North Creek and Woodinville high schools participated.
The 23 students spent the day writing the programs which were then judged by industry professionals from Amazon, Philips Healthcare and Vimly Solutions, a Mukilteo-based IT service provider and consultancy.
“Students are working on a new project that they are interested in and think will be influential and innovative,” said Soham Bhosale, founder and president of the Computer Science Club. Bhosale is a junior at Bothell High School.
Most students create their own projects; some work in small groups.
A student creates a realistic soccer video game in the programming language C-Sharp.
Another created a web infographic about Mars. The student incorporates virtual reality elements into the program.
The winner of the hackathon creates an app that sends the user emergency alerts when there is an active shooter with any ZIP code they choose to notify.
The judges were Katie Trout, Chief Technology Officer at Vimly Solutions; Nidhi Jaiswal, UX Design Manager at Amazon and Uday Muchalambe, Software Development Engineer at Philips Healthcare.
The judges each also led coding workshops for students throughout the day.
“I’ve always wanted to do something for our local community,” Bhosale said. “And I think the hackathon is a great way to do that.”
He noted that the competition was done almost, to eliminate the risk of COVID.
Bhosale started the Computer Science Club as a sophomore at BHS. Next year, as a senior, he plans to hold several hackathons.
In December, Bhosale was selected winner of U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge for creating DermDetect, an app for diagnosing potentially cancerous skin lesions.
Bhosale says he, like many club members, hopes to work in computer science after he finishes school.
“Especially with the intersectionality of other technologies and disciplines,” he said. “Like computer science and biology, computational biology, or computational chemistry, or medical AI. That’s an interdisciplinary approach.”
He plans to apply to the University of Washington, which was recently ranked the 16th best school in the world for computer science by Times Higher Education.
“I’ll also shoot my shot at some Ivy League schools,” he said. “I know it’s more competition, but let’s see.”
Bhosale said the Computer Science Club also plans to compete in the USA Computing Olympiad (USACO) later this year.
He mentioned that he was pleased with the diversity of the students competing in the hackathon.
“In some groups, there is definitely a low percentage of people who go into the computer science industry, due to many factors such as socioeconomic status, or even racial background,” he said. “But it’s important that everyone should be able to do computer science, and everyone should be motivated and at least given the opportunity, which is what we’re trying to do.”
He goes on to say that even if it’s scary, anyone interested in coding shouldn’t be afraid to give it a try.
“Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do computer science,” he said.