HACT – July 2015

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Over the weekend of July 10th to 12th, HACT held their second HACT event, having held their inaugural IN.HACT event the previous weekend. HACT’s events introduce schoolchildren to the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths), innovation and entrepreneurship. HACT’s IN.HACT events primarily cater to primary-school aged children (ages 10-13), and the HACT events to high-school aged children (ages 10-17). All three of the events HACT have held so far have been met with enthusiasm, engagement and positive feedback from the children participating. Returned feedback forms, given to the schoolchildren attending the inaugural IN.HACT event, gave an 87% approval rating for the event. The HACT event scored 88%.

As expressed in previous articles, the founders of HACT found a common theme or experience, when speaking to established professionals in IT and other related fields. Many cited key moments, in which the encouragement offered by a teacher or relative sparked an interest and career path in technology. HACT have built upon on this observation, in the hopes of achieving the same moments of inspiration for Australia’s primary and high school aged children. This is a vision shared by some of Canberra’s prominent investors, who backed HACT in this year’s Griffin Accelerator.

HACT’s second HACT event, HACT Canberra Winter 2015, returned to the site of the first HACT event (called hs.hact.io at the time), the Snow Centre for Education in the Asian Century (‘Snow Centre’) at Canberra Grammar School. The Centre is a recent construction, a large, modern building located on the school’s grounds. The schoolchildren participating were divided into the streams they had nominated when registering for the event. The HACT Canberra Winter 2015 event offered the following stream: web design, game development, 3D art, 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality. The schoolchildren participating in the event used cutting edge, innovative technologies relevant to the respective streams. For example the schoolchildren in the virtual and augmented reality stream made use of Oculus Rifts, those in the 3D printing stream enjoyed access to a variety of different 3D printers, and the 3D art stream used computer programs to create realistic models. Samples of the schoolchildren’s work followed through the streams in sequential order, for instance 3D art designs were transposed into the games developed, and 3D printed models.

The inaugural HACT event, also a three day-long event, was a great success. The event even featured the amazing development of a potential student business arising from the event. An awards ceremony followed the event, in which the schoolchildren nominated received both cash prizes and awards. The latest HACT event, HACT Canberra Winter 2015, was also a great success. Epitomising the enthusiasm and cognition with which the schoolchildren took to the event, one child commented, ‘I love game development, enough though it’s supposed to be hard, it’s really easy.’ The schoolchildren participating in the HACT Canberra Winter 2015 showed their appreciation for the event by using the hashtags #HACT, #CBRIN and #UC, when promoting the event over social media.

Tickets to the HACT Canberra Winter 2015 event were priced at $149 each, which included the children’s entry to the three-day event, an event t-shirt, a certificate of participation, refreshments, lunch on the Sunday and eligibility for prizes offered (following the submission of a pitch video). The second HACT Awards Night, to be held at the University of Canberra’s Inspire Centre once again, is to follow within the next couple of weeks.

HACT is continually seeking to engage interested educators, principals and schools. Those interested are encouraged to contact the company via the HACT website. The team behind HACT wish to speak to those interested about how the HACT’s events can benefit their students, and how they may be able to contribute to future events.

For further details about upcoming HACT events check the event’s page of HACT’s website.

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