BT High School Students Coded Travel Challenge Solution in School Hackathon
By: Mrs. Lisa Reyburn-Payne, Beth Tfiloh High School Computer Science Teacher
BT High School students Eliav H. ‘21, Noah B. ’21, and Sam R. ‘20 spent eight hours designing, redesigning, coding, and innovating at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School’s recent hackathon.
Participants were challenged to solve a problem posed at the beginning of the event: how to make independent teen travel easier. The teams could choose from one of three problem-solving methods: coding, prototyping, or creating a physical project.
The BT team had to carefully consider their options. They changed their proposed solution a couple of times before deciding on building a website for students travelers who do not have a photo ID. The website had a simplified Kayak.com interface to book airline tickets. At the end of the booking, the site encrypted the user's personal information and generated a personalized QR code that is emailed to the student to use for airport security.
At the end of the day, the BT team, as well as seven other teams from CESJDS and Montgomery County Public High Schools, gave 10-minute presentations of their designs. A small team of area technology professionals graded the students on creativity, feasibility, ideas for future enhancements, among other criteria. The BT team was pitted against larger, older, and more technologically experienced teams, but they gave an impressive presentation of their solution. Although they did not win the competition, Eliav, Noah and Sam received excellent scores from the judges and gained great real-world experience.