If you're a student in the New Jersey area with some bright ideas about how to implement solar power and address climate change, this might be your opportunity. The campus of Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, is hosting a solar power "hackathon" this month.
Solar Power Platform Hackathon Registration
The Solar Power Platform Hackathon is open to registration from students anywhere, from now until Saturday, October 15th, 2022, with the event itself scheduled on October 21-23, 2022. Participants must be actively enrolled at any college or university, graduate or undergraduate, full or part-time, and there isn't even an age restriction (those <18 need a waiver from a parent or guardian).
Sponsored by Microsoft, the event will have teams of six students each given a problem statement in the solar power industry. Their challenge is to use Microsoft platforms to create an app to solve the task.
In a statement, Manfred Minimair, professor and director of the M.S. in Data Science program at Seton Hall, states:
> "The Solar Power Platform Hackathon is a great opportunity for students to help address an important issue of access to clean energy in New Jersey and to learn modern technologies for data science and cloud computing. The students leverage data to develop apps that help policymakers and ordinary citizens in New Jersey with the deployment of and access to solar energy facilities."
Even if you don't participate or missed the registration, there are many events just like this one that happen within university culture. Read on for more details, starting with…
What is a "Hackathon"?
Thanks to poor technology reporting over the years, the public has a frazzled notion of the meaning of "hacking." It is used as slang for criminal computer activity, but the true definition of "hack" is "the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming the limitations of software systems or electronic hardware (mostly digital electronics), to achieve novel and clever outcomes." All of our greatest technology entrepreneurs, from Bill Gates of Microsoft fame to Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison to Apple pioneers Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, self-identified with hacker culture.
Hackathons are a common event in university culture. They're basically a combination workshop and conference, intended to foster intense problem-solving. They're also a lot of fun, a way to network with others in the technology space, and can lead to brainstorms of industrial innovation. Some of the best applications and inventions we use today got their start as a hackathon project.
Why Are Hackathons Good For Solar Power?
Solar power, and renewable energy in general, is a technology field with tremendous potential beyond the deployment we have seen so far. But it needs bright minds from the engineering field to implement it. For example, as we recently covered, solar power car parks are becoming more common. As we move on and discover more creative ways to implement renewable energy, we will see tremendous benefit from innovative solutions that are implemented to be practical.
It takes more than an engineering degree to come up with a new device or method implementing solar power. It takes imagination and passion, two things which are in abundant supply in the university ecosystem. There are many more innovations yet to be invented, more problems to solve, and more improvements we can make to existing technology. By the time engineers move on to careers, they may be narrowly focused on their company's goals and too busy with that to afford for open creativity solving any problem they like. Hackathons are the one place where they can put their brains to work for the general public good.
Find Out More About Solar Power Today
You don't have to be a hacker to take advantage of solar power in New Jersey. You can start saving money on your energy bill today, and help reduce our planet's carbon footprint while you're at it! Browse around our blog for more interesting solar facts, and contact EcoGen America today to get your free savings estimate and find out how much you can save with solar energy!