Students innovate at UCSC Hackathon


LAUREN: GOOD EVENING. I’M LAUREN SEAVER. THANKS FOR JOINING US THIS EVENING. WE ARE BEGINNING TONIGHT WITH A LOOK AT THE FUTURE. HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS GATHERED AT UC SANTA CRUZ THIS WEEKEND TO COMPETE IN THE THIRD ANNUAL HACKATHON. AFTER MORE THAN 48 HOURS OF WORK, STUDENTS UNVEILED THEIR PROJECTS TODAY. ACTION NEWS REPORTER BIANCA BELTRAN JOINS US LIVE IN SANTA CRUZ WITH A LOOK AT THEIR CREATIONS. BIANCA: IMPRESSIVE DOESN’T EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE SOME OF THE PROJECTS I SAW TODAY. AND IF DEVELOPED FURTHER, MANY OF THESE IDEAS COULD CHANGE THE WAY THINGS ARE DONE IN THE FUTURE. THEY HAD TWO AND A HALF DAYS TO CREATE A NEW APP OR PROGRAM FROM SCRATC AND JUST THREE MINUTES TO WOW THE JUDGES. THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE INNOVATIONS YOU’LL FIND AT THE UC SANTA CRUZ HACKATHON. A DRONE THAT DELIVERS MUCH NEEDED SUPPLIES. VOICE CONTROLLED ROBOTS.>>I FEEL LIKE THE APPLICATI FOR THIS CAN BE USED BASICALLY IN ANY PLACE WHERE HUMANS HAVE TO WORK WITH ROBOTS, SUCH AS IN WAREHOUSES, IN AG, AND IT CAN ALSO BE USED IN THE MILITARY>>SO WE ARE TRYING TO CHANGE THAT WHOLE PLAYING FIELD OF HOW HUMANS INTERACT WITH ROBOTS. BIANCA: AND A DIFFERENT APPLICATION FOR VIRTUAL REALITY.>>THERE ARE LOT OF STUDIES THAT HAVE HAVE SHOWN THAT IF YOU STUDY IN MULTIPLE ENVIRONMENTS AND YOU TAKE A TEST IN A NEUTRAL ENVIRONMENT, YOU’LL GET BETTER REULTS THAN IF YOU STUDIED TWICE IN THE SAME ENVIRONMENT.>>SO WE’VE CREATED THIS VIRTUAL WORKSPACE. IT CAN HAVE PDFS OF YOUR TEXTBOOK COME UP, SO YOU CAN SIT IN THERE AND READ IN A REALLY CALMING ENVIRONMENT, BUT NOT ONLY THAT — ALSO HAVE A WHITE BOARD THAT YOU CAN WRITE ON WITH JUST BY USING A PENCIL, AND YOU CAN TRACK THAT AND WRITE WHATEVER YOU WANT ON IT. BIANCA: THE GOAL OF IT ALL IS TO HAVE STUDENTS APPLY WHAT THEY’VE LEARNED IN SCHOOL.>>IT’S REALLY GREAT. IT’S REALLY ONE OF THE FIRST TIMES I USED ALL THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WE’VE HAD AND JUST COMBINED IT, AND IT’S REALLY FUN TO SEE HOW IT ALL TURNED OUT. REPORTER: THERE WERE THREE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES TO COMPETE IN, INCLUDING LABOR CONDITIONS, SOLVING SOCIAL, AGRICULTURE OR ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, AND INNOVATION. THERE WERE SO MANY INTERESTING PROJECTS, BUT THE VIRTUAL-REALITY PROJECT DID WIN FIRST PLACE IN INNOVATION, TAKING HOME OVER $8,000 IN PRIZES, INCLUDING SUPPORT TO DEVELOP THEIR IDEA FURTHER. LAUREN: WONDERFUL STUFF. THANK YOU, BIANCA. A FILM CREW WAS THERE TO CAPTURE ALL OF THE EXCITEMENT FOR A PBS SHOW CALLED “BEYOND GEEK.”

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