Kids 8-14 create apps to solve Toronto problems


Coding All Stars Summer 2016 hack-a-thon

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 29th 2016: On Friday June 24th from 11-4pm, Toronto’s top 60 young coders from Hatch Canada, ranging in ages from 7-17, competed at Google Canada headquarters, located in downtown Toronto, in an all day hack-a-thon to create apps that solve real-world problems the residents of Toronto face in their daily lives.  

How the Students and teams were selected

From over 700 GTA Hatch Canada students, the top 60 kids were hand-picked, and invited to participate in an all-day hack-a-thon. The students were divided into teams of 5-6 members  and each team was paired with a Google Canada and Hatch Canada mentor.

Kids solving real Toronto problems

The objective of each team was to create an app or game that offered the best solution to problems Torontonians face. The kids were tasked to build an app that solves any of the following problems:

  • Racoon Nation: how to prevent raccoons from getting into Toronto’s garbage.
  • Cottage Life: how to tackle mosquitoes and bears at the cottage.
  • Public transportation: how to improve Toronto’s transportation.
  • Toronto Transit Commission Apps: Create an app that would assist Toronto transit commuters.

Memorable Moments

As Peter Kuperman, Founder & CEO of Hatch Canada noted: “Coding All-Stars was an incredible event that brought together the best youth coders in the entire Greater Toronto Area. They applied their creativity to a 5 hour hackathon project with incredible results.”

  • The Hatch Canada students were overjoyed to receive counsel, advice, and mentorship from Google Canada’s professional coders and engineers.
  • The guest mentors from Google Canada became kids again as they were mentoring, guiding, and helping the students launch their projects and brainstorm ideas.  
  • The teams were each given three powerups to use throughout the event.  Part way through the hackathon, one of the teams was hit by several “mute” power ups in a row.  Those power ups forced the team to be silent for five minutes or risk losing valuable points.  At the break, when one of the students in that team was asked about how he felt having received several “mute” power ups, he seemed a little sad at first but then he brightened up and with a proud look stated: “But we are so good at communicating without talking now!”

Peter Kuperman, Founder and CEO of Hatch Canada further noted: “What was most amazing is to see a company that was only an idea in my mind 3 years ago, having a Gala hosted at Google Canada with hundreds of people in attendance.”

The 7 Finalists:

  • Team “Garbage for Racoons” built ‘yelp’ for racoons to use to find the best garbage.
  • Team “Garbotron” was spearheaded by returning champion Abe and came very close to winning a third year in a row!
  • Team “TTC Fun” got to work with Hatch Canada’s lead web developer, Bojan Bogdanovic.
  • Team “Look Both Ways” was very dedicated but lost a large chunk of their code partway through the competition and worked extremely hard to rebuilt it.
  • Team.IO had the youngest competitors in the competition.
  • Team “Racoon Garbage” decided to make a game and taught themselves entirely new game elements to realize their goal.
  • Team Repellent had one of the most eager to code teams.  They could barely wait for the breaks to end so they could rush back to their computers.

Coding All Stars Competition Summer 2016 hack-a-thon Winners

Congratulations to the Coding All Stars Summer Edition winning team, Cupcake Kids: Julius, Julia, Joshua, Evelyn, Andrew, and Charlie.

  • The winning team students ranged in ages from 7-12 and they beat out older competitors as old as 14.
  • The winning team was a mix of students that did not know each other prior to the Coding All Stars Summer 2016 hack-a-thon Competition and had never worked together before. The team was compiled of students from the Hatch Canada Toronto center as well as students from the Hatch Canada school programs.

Why this was the winning project

The project wasn’t necessarily the winner from the “best” code written that day, but it was the the most polished and complete app presented and it included an intro screen, instructions, and a functional game.  All the groups had some combination of these elements but Cupcake Kids one had all three components combined. Moreover, it was the teamwork, effort, and diligence the Cupcake Kids group displayed while working on building the app that turned their project into a winner.

Where someone can see the winning project:

For more information contact Lina Poka, at 416-294-5031 or