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Breaking News: EUhackathon winners receive 5000 Euro awards at European Parliament

BRUSSELS, 21 JUNE 2012 – After 30 hours of intense coding with only a 4-hour break, it was time for our 37 coders of 11 nationalities to hear from the jury who had won the first prize for each of the two challenges they had taken on only one day before, namely creating tools to enhance the safety of kids online on the one hand, and to stimulate their creativity on the other hand. This was done in the European Parliament – prizes being notably handed over by MEP Sabine Verheyen, MEP Róża Maria Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, MEP Sean Kelly and MEP Petru Luhan – Vice-President Neelie Kroes having dropped by on 20 June to discuss their respective projects with the hackers (see videos here).

The winners of the second edition of the EUhackathon are:

  • For the Child Safety Track:
    1. First Prize: Team Bodoques (Spain/Italy) with their eyeTime Tool informing kids and parents about the duration of their online exposure.
    2. Second Prize: Team SecondFriend (Germany/Sweden/Cambodja) with their SecondFriend chat app allowing kids to chat with counselors from helplines in an easy, intuitive and privacy-friendly manner.
    3. Third Prize: Team Milktooth (Italy), with their Milktooth filter activated by the presence of the parents’ phone (by bluetooth) and their filters of content that are picture/ad specific so that kids and parents watching the same website see customised pages.
  • For the Child Creativity Track:
    1. First Prize: Team Water (Finland), with their Waterbear tool to make coding for kids easier, so that they not only use digital technologies but also start understanding and making them!
    2. Second Prize: Gianluca Cancelmi (Italy), with his semantic WikiQuiz including social media aspects.
    3. Third Prize: Team LeGarage (France), with their Kwizzle space invader quiz.

Some Facts & Stats

  • Called a hack-a-thon because it brings together ‘hackers’ (as in coders) working 24 hours straight.
  • Second marathon of coders organised partially in a Parliament, with the idea of the ‘old’/legislators meeting the ‘new’/coders
  • Theme is ‘Kids’, and more specifically building tools, websites, applications, etc. that enhance children safety & creativity.
  • 30-hour event with 24-hours coding (spread over 28 hours with a 4-hour break) by 36 participants working on two challenges: 3 as individuals and 36 others bundled in 10 teams
  • 11 nationalities represented
  • Youngest applicant: 13-year old working in team with his older brother and a friend. Ended up not being able to make it due to exams!
  • 5000,00 Eur prize for winner of each track
  • Handing over of awards in the European Parliament by MEPs and other EU officials at an event hosted by MEP Sabine Verheyen (EPP, Germany).
  • Intervention by Cory Doctorow on 21 June at 3:30 pm CET (Cory Doctorow is a science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing, and a contributor to Wired, Popular Science, Make, the New York Times, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites)
  •  Support from civil society: eSkills, Family Online Safety Institute, European Schoolnet, eNACSO, Missing Children Europe
  • Sponsors: Facebook, Google, Orange and Vodafone
  • Vice-President Neelie Kroes of the European Commission endorsement on Facebook page: see here. And her encouragement message to the hackers: see here.
  • Coders assisted by engineers from Facebook, Google and Orange
  • 25 kids from the European schools from Brussels aged between 12 and 15 will assist and participate by following the coding work.