PennApps XII introduces "Routes" and pushes community involvement

(Image Credit: PennApps)

Student-run hackathon, PennApps, has gone from strength-to-strength over the past few years. The upcoming twelfth edition of the bi-annual event is set to be the biggest yet as it opens to more students than ever in order to include as many hackers as possible. 

PennApps XII has over 2,000 participants registered from 147 universities across 11 different countries. The fun all kicks-off tomorrow under the fist-pumping tagline of "Come make history with us" and will be hosted at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For an event which started from humble beginnings, the event has grown to a truly impressive scale which has attracted huge sponsors. Some of the names include; Comcast, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, CapitalOne, American Express, Uber, Airbnb, EA, IBM, Epic, Pebble, eBay, Nest, Twilio, and loads more. 

On their website, the organisers wrote: "PennApps is built upon the idea that everyone should be able to participate, from individuals who have never written a line of code to experts who have been developing for years." 

This year the team has introduced a new 'Routes' concept which is described as a series of paths you can decide on throughout PennApps XII that will affect your final destination and could result in a "special payoff" for some participants. 

The six routes you can choose from are; EdTech, VR/AR, Design, Social & Civic Hacking, Sports & Entertainment, and Humor. Each route will give you special access to resources, fun side events, workshops, and prizes if you choose to incorporate one or more into your hack. 

PennApps are – for the first time – automatically granting applications from local high schools and colleges in order to push community involvement and grow the community. The hackathon has also partnered with the Office of Innovation and Technology in the City of Philadelphia government for their aforementioned "Social & Civic Hacking" route which allows students to access city data and allow them to work with government officials to solve problems. 

After coding over the weekend, hackers will present their projects in a science fair on Sunday. Members of the public will be welcome to test out the inventions at the PennApps Expo. 

For more information on the event and how to register, visit the PennApps website here. 

Are you impressed at the scale and unique approach of PennApps XII? Let us know in the comments.

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