A Westminster-based organization is looking to bring the first hackathon to Carroll County.

Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboration, or MAGIC, is coordinating the hackathon Feb. 24 to 26 at McDaniel College with a workshop on Feb. 18. The event is aimed at high school and college students whether they have coding experience or not, said Jason Stambaugh, executive director of MAGIC.

The hackathon was created in order to help students prepare for successes and discover new passions, Stambaugh said. The event helps develop talent, and the project created over the weekend can be used to help high schools students with college admissions and college students with getting a job after graduation, he said.


"The experience of going from an idea to an app is nothing short of a superpower," Stambaugh said.

At the hackathon workshop, a week before the actual event, attendees will go over the idea, and the design and coding phases of building a mobile or web-based application. It's not mandatory to attend the workshop, but it is highly encouraged.

During the workshop, students will get tools and resources they may not have used before, including instructions on wireframes and mock-ups, as well as how to pitch an app. It's meant to ensure most participants are on the same baseline, Stambaugh said.

The hackathon will use an open-pitching model, said Robert Wack, MAGIC's board of director president and a member of the Westminster Common Council. This means the participants can design and build any type of app.

High school and college students will be working together, but Wack said he expects some of the high school students might surprise the college-age participants.

"We've got some really bright high school students in the community," he said.

Stambaugh said that he's not expecting the next Snapchat — an image messaging social media app — to come out of the weekend, but he wants to see something functional. He'll also be looking at design, including good wireframes and mock-ups, he said.

Students can register as individuals or as teams, he said, adding that not every person needs to be a coding extraordinaire. Applications are more than just the coding, he said. They also need business pitches and a good design, which means teams will need people with business experiences and graphic designers or artists.

At the end of the weekend, Stambaugh said it's impressive to see a team create an application because a weekend isn't that much time in the coding world. It'll be a weekend where people will have to challenge themselves, and it will be stressful at sometimes. But that shouldn't discourage anyone, he said.

"It's going to be a heck of a lot of fun," Stambaugh said.




If you go

What: Hackathon workshop


When: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18

Where: Hill Hall, McDaniel College

What: Hackathon

When: 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26

Where: Hill Hall, McDaniel College

Registration for Hackathon workshop and Hackathon: register.carrollcountyhackathon.com