The cold weather is officially moving in, Boston, and that means there’s finally an excuse to stay inside on the computer all day and not feel (too) bad about it. But even we can admit that while setting up shop on your couch in sweats and surfing the Internet is a great way to spend your down time, there are more constructive ways to cash in all those hours on your laptop. And by that we mean one thing: hackathons.
This fall, there are some not-so-ordinary hackathons taking place in Boston for some extraordinary causes that need your help. There are prizes, which are great, but you better be jazzed about the purpose, too. From the first-ever city-wide food hack to creating solutions for pediatric health, we’ve rounded up five of the most exciting hackathons for you to get involved in this season.
MIT Media Lab Breast Pump Hackathon
Running from Saturday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. to Sunday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. This hackathon is designed to “make the breast pump suck less” — pun intended. According to MIT, the current way the breast pump operates is noisy, time-consuming and painful, all which can be fixed with a room full of developers and 32 hours of collaboration. Register here.
Boston Pakathon 2014
From Friday, Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. to Sunday, September 28 at 5 p.m. Come join entrepreneurs who are working on a social change project that can be launched in Pakistan. This will be a synchronous hackathon taking place in 16 different cities around the world at the same time. While local winners are announced on the 28th following the hackathon, global winners will be announced on October 11 right here in the Hub. Interested? Register here.
MIT Hacking Arts 2014
Running from Friday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. to Sunday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. Come join this three-day hackathon festival that will explore the intersection of art, technology and entrepreneurship all in one place. Designed to encourage new advances in creative industries, entrepreneurs, musicians, artists and engineers will work together to develop the next big advances in the arts. Live music and panels will help fill up the weekend, along with plenty of food and drink. Find a full schedule of events here, and register for the event here.
Running from Friday, Oct. 17 to Sunday, Oct. 19. This will be the second annual Hacking Pediatrics event that will focus on creating solutions that promote child health and wellness. In 36 hours, 150 engineers will help change the lives of children in need of medical care in dramatic ways. To apply to attend, click here.
Boston Urban Food Hack
Running from Nov. 14 from 5-10 p.m. and Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This will be Boston’s first city-wide hackathon, hosted by Branchfood, focused on developing products and technologies that transform institutional food, restaurant operations and urban farming. You’ll work with industry experts on solving some of the most pressing food system challenges in the country. Register here.
Image via Hacking Arts