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Schools Can Register Now For Virtual H₂O Hackathon

Registration is now open for the next H₂O Hackathon, a unique event that taps into the technological and problem-solving skills of local students to help find solutions to the state’s water issues. The Fifth Annual H₂O Hackathon on April 17 will be virtual, with teams of students competing in middle school, high school, and college divisions. The team with the winning app from each division at the end of the daylong competition will walk away with a $5,000 cash prize for team members and coaches to share. Cash prizes for second place ($1,000) and third place ($500) will also be awarded in each division. Learn more and register at Space is limited.

After the H₂O Hackathon’s water-related challenge is revealed the morning of April 17, competing teams will have the rest of the day to build an app to address the issue in the challenge. This year’s challenge will have a focus on protecting the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.

No coding experience is necessary to compete. Competitors will build their apps using APP LAB from, a block-based coding platform which allows anyone to create a working app. Competitors will follow curriculum and a lesson plan developed by CodeStack, the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) software engineering department.

Competitors may sign up as a team of four students and one coach. Individuals who sign up will be assigned to a team. Teams and individuals must be from San Joaquin County. In the college division, individuals and teams must be students at San Joaquin Delta College, University of the Pacific, or CodeStack Academy.

The H₂O Hackathon website also offers a toolkit that shows how to use the coding platform and includes other information to provide teachers and students all they need to know to compete. A webinar is scheduled on Thursday, March 18.

Organized by the SJCOE’s CodeStack department and iHub San Joaquin, the H₂O Hackathon is supported financially by partners from educational agencies, municipalities, community organizations, and the business community. Partners include Stockton Unified School District, Restore the Delta, the San Joaquin Partnership, University of the Pacific, San Joaquin Delta College, BOSS Business Systems, Café Coop, the City of Manteca, the San Francisco Estuary Institute, the State Water Resources Control Board, and A.G. Spanos Companies. The H₂O Hackathon provides students an opportunity to implement real-world applications of the science, engineering, and other skills learned in school. The Hackathon focuses these skills on finding technological solutions to California water issues.

A panel of experts and community leaders will judge contestant entries. The keynote speaker will be Alethe Denis, a cyber security consultant and winner of a DEF CON Black Badge, the award given to event winners at DEF CON, a prominent hacker convention.

San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) provides educational leadership, resources, and services to support schools throughout the county. For more information, visit