On Friday October 20th Ireland’s first ever STEAM Hackathon, hosted by Dublin City University and Intel Ireland, got underway and what followed was a 72-hour ideas marathon which brought together student innovators, creatives, entrepreneurs and developers to build exciting new products using Intel technology. Putting the ‘A’ into STEM education, the students were challenged to explore their artistic and creative sides in combination with STEM skillsets and to discover how the arts can interact with technological creativity by blending music, visual arts and performance arts with enabling Intel technology.
The aim of this weekend was to expose students to the intersection between arts and technology to see what could be achieved when innovative ideas and critical thinking is applied in this space, while also inspiring students, expanding their skillset and helping them to grow their networks.
Overall winners of the Hackathon, D’ART Space, created a digital art space using Intel technology, and demonstrated with their ‘interactive paintbrush’ prototype how people could use the space to express themselves in both public or corporate spaces including public parks, office lobbies, children’s hospitals and waiting rooms.
Other ideas showcased during the event which received special awards included:
· Alarm IQ, who were awarded Best User Experience for an alarm clock that would leverage your data to adapt and give you your preferred wake up experience.
· GPLights who won Best New Experience for developing a device to help cyclists navigate without having to use a map or their phone.
· Hunger’s Hope who won Best Use of Technology by developing an app to tackle the world’s hunger by redistributing food wastage, connecting people who have surplus meals or good with those who need it.
Congratulating the teams, DCU President, Professor Brian MacCraith said; “It is wonderful to see the level of diversity within the teams and that you have come together in terms of cultures, ethnicity and disciplines with all DCU five faculties strongly represented here today. Sincere congratulations to you all on what you achieved in such a short period of time. I am genuinely impressed by the level of innovation and believe that each one of the nine projects presented today could go further.
In my opening remarks on Friday I said that this hackathon would be a journey of discovery. That you would discover things about yourself, about your innate creativity, about innovation, that you would discover new friends and knowledge. From what I have witnessed this evening, you have all come on such an incredible journey in such a short space of time and that certainly validates what both DCU and Intel set out to achieve.”
Eamonn Sinnott, Intel Ireland General Manager and Vice President, Technology Manufacturing Group, added; “The world around us is changing at an almost unbelievable pace and with that change comes challenges that are unlike any we have faced before. What is becoming clear is that the solutions to these challenges will require us to be more creative in how we think about solving them and to apply solutions that are increasingly multi-disciplinary.
Intel is delighted to come together with DCU to host this STEAM hackathon which I believe is one of the most exciting, and effective, ways to bring creative and diverse thinking to life. Watching the students produce real functioning solutions and prototypes over just a weekend is fantastic and it’s particularly exciting for us to see many of these smart solutions powered by Intel technology.”
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The world is changing at an almost unbelievable pace. Computing for example is being transformed and embodied in our daily lives in ever changing ways bringing with it an explosion in data creation, storage and analytics. A simple example illustrates the point – it’s estimated that by the year 2020 a single autonomous car will generate more internet traffic per day than the average family of 5 people would in an entire year.
As the complexity of this ever changing world increases, we will need to continually challenge ourselves to think in new and different ways. The problems we will be called upon to solve in the future will require a different kind of approach and will draw on skills and experience from multiple disciplines. The skills of the workforce of the future will depend as much on curiosity, creation and design, as they will on technical aptitude; and traditional STEM may not be enough. That is why we are interested in exploring the the value of STEAM; the intersection between creative arts and the traditional STEM areas of Science, Tech, Engineering and Maths.