Moorpark teens break coding in computing competition

Richard Gillard/The Oak Newspapers

Richard Gillard/The Oak Newspapers

In your mark, get set, code!

Teenagers from everywhere in the county gathered in Camarillo one latest Friday night time to do some mass laptop hacking. Fairly than fear, officers inspired it.

Highschool college students, greater than 100 of them from 40 completely different colleges, had been on the Ventura County Workplace of Schooling for the annual Hackathon by the Sea. Teenagers had been challenged to create an app or web site that solves an issue or fills a necessity – and so they solely have hours to take action.

The general winner was a trio from Nordhof Excessive College in Ojai Unified Area. Gavin Johnson, Orvis Majolas, and Caleb Saucedo constructed a system that enables vegetation or gardens to be monitored remotely from wherever on the earth. The app sends real-time information concerning the vegetation’ temperature and humidity to the cloud, the place it may be accessed by way of a cell phone or laptop.

Two highschool college students at Moorpark Faculty, Hershraj Niranjani and Alex Sherbrooke, took first place within the training class and second prize total throughout the competitors, which started on the night of 6 January and ended within the afternoon of seven January.

Creative Technology - Occupy

Artistic Expertise – Hershraj Niranjani and Alexander Sherbrooke take second place with their PeerConnect app at Hackaton by the Sea, the annual occasion offered by the Ventura County Workplace of Schooling. Above, Nordhof Excessive College’s Gavin Johnson, Caleb Sauceda, and Orvis Majolas completed first total within the occasion.

Hershrag and Alex stated they labored all night time on sheer adrenaline to be able to end their app.

“I attempted to nap a couple of times, however I could not assist however take into consideration some points we had been having that Alex was making an attempt to hack whereas I used to be making an attempt to relaxation,” Hershrag stated.

Their brainchild known as PeerConnect. The 2 17-year-olds got here up with the concept a couple of days earlier than the competitors. To assist those that have had a tough time connecting with others throughout the pandemic, they’ve created an app that pairs college students keen to speak with peer counselors who’re keen to hear.

Points with the app’s video calling function saved Hershrag up all night time.

“It took all the way in which as much as our presentation to determine what was going flawed,” Alex stated. “It was a grueling expertise, however it labored ultimately.”

The couple stated that competing in a hackathon is intimidating. The ambiance is vigorous and vigorous, with dozens of excited college students inside a big room hunched over their computer systems, frantically typing away.

“You’ll be able to’t assist however assume, ‘How am I going to do something that beats something right here?'” Hershrag stated. ”

Hershrag recollects how he and Alex arrived with simply their laptops and chargers, whereas the workforce behind them introduced a house laptop full, full with monitor and keyboard.

However they stated that is additionally a part of the enjoyable.

“I used to be shocked by the variety of folks on the market, as a result of at my college there aren’t many people who find themselves thinking about programming,” Alex stated. “That was type of enlightening for me.”

Hershrag, Alex and their buddy Ryan McCombs had been not too long ago acknowledged by the Moorpark Unified College District for the tutorial apps they developed for educators and college students, stated Jessica Hendricks Sandoval, counselor for the coding membership the 2 college students belong to.

“They’re completely superb college students,” she stated. “We at Moorpark Faculty Excessive College are very pleased with the accomplishments of Hirsch and Alex, however much more pleased with their initiative and pursuit of their ardour for STEM.”

After 15 hours, PeerConnect is up and operating.

The boys stated they had been honored to be positioned second, as a result of their all-time placement was a testomony to their exhausting work.

After profitable their prizes, college students have new aspirations for PeerConnect. They wish to add educating options to the app and increase its capabilities so it may join folks with psychological well being professionals.

Hershraj began coding on Discord to be able to cease cyberbullying assaults from bots. The code he developed can detect and delete hate messages and punish offenders. Alex began in a similar way, making a bot on Discord that tracks COVID-19 stats.

As a substitute of utilizing their hacking skills for nefarious functions, Hershrag and Alex hope to construct their startup to make on-line and offline communities a greater place. There isn’t a higher place to begin, college students stated, then on the Hackathon by the Sea.

“You can also make buddies in a short time. We’re all certain collectively behind this curtain of creativity,” Hershrag stated. “That is what that is all about.”

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