Welcome to Day 1 of the Tokyo Inter-School Hackathon! In this series of blog posts, the other student ambassador, Riku, and I will drop by the discord calls of a few groups and take a peek at how the teams are doing. 

The first Bonus Challenge of the Hackathon will go to the team that comes up with the best team name, by popular vote. Bonus Challenges are an opportunity for teams to gain points to be added to their final total at the end of the judging period. The teams that Riku and I had the pleasure of speaking to today had quite a unique collection of names.

First up is high school team Stack Underflow from the American School in Japan. Named after the beloved forum for programmers to “share” code and collaborate, one team member eloquently summed up their rationale for the team name as “Stack Overflow, but cringe.” The members admit that although they have learned various languages in class, this is their first time putting their knowledge to the test! As for the project itself, they seem to be leaning towards one that involves remote education, mental health, and healthcare. 

Next, we spoke to high school team James Balcombe from the British School in Tokyo, reverently named for the computer science teacher of the team members. All of the team members have taken programming classes before, but some also have experience with running websites and participating in hackathons. They also look forward to the challenge of working with HTML for the first time with their project, which they plan to fall under the category of remote education. They also mentioned plans to use the knowledge gained from the pre-sessions to implement Django as another aspect of their project.

As we switched over to the middle school division, we first talked to team codify_ from St. Mary’s International School. As for the rationale behind the team name, we were told, irrefutably, that it was chosen “because it sounded cool.” These team members have deep bonds forged during their time on the beloved programming-and-social service known as Scratch, and continue to take classes together at school. This is their first hackathon, but they are excited to work on their project!

Last but not least, we spoke to middle school team PhoenixCoders from India International School in Japan. The initials of the team members spell out to L.A.V.A., so they wanted to “choose something fiery.” This is their first time participating in a hackathon, but they seem to have a good idea of what their project is going to be and plan to focus on online education. For now, they don’t have a concrete working structure, but as the hackathon goes on, they mentioned that they may decide to implement one. 

Out of everyone we spoke to today, only one student had past experience with hackathons. However, after witnessing the excitement of all the team members, Riku and I can’t help but have high hopes for the end results! We can’t wait to see how the next few days unfold. 

Good luck to all participants, and we’ll be back tomorrow with another look into how the teams are doing.

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