PV High tech club breaks barrier


First team of high schoolers attends college conference

(Photo courtesy of Kristi Jud)

SANTA CRUZ — A newly-formed club at Pajaro Valley High School dedicated to technology became the first high school group to attend the UC Santa Cruz Hackathon from Jan. 19-21, an event that was created for college students.

The 45-member PVHS Tech Squad was formed in November to give students a place to learn technology and to share their skills with their peers.

Students are currently creating a working environment on campus called the “Tech Tank,” where they get hands-on lessons on 3D printing, video editing, stop-animation, robotics, coding, app development, graphic design and hardware repair, among other things.

In addition, the group hosts speakers from the business world, and takes field trips to visit tech companies.

During the Hackathon, student teams were tasked with coming up with ideas, building them out and presenting them during the three-day event.

But with the help of school administrators, organizers let in the first high school team, PVHS Technology Integration Coach Kristi Jud said.

The eight-student team from PV High created a smartphone app that digitizes the “Claw Dollar” program, a student incentive program that awards paper coupons to students for good attendance. The app also tracks student attendance.

Created to help the campus use less paper and be environmentally friendly, designing the app was first and foremost a chance for the students to show off their skills to industry professionals, Jud said.

The students also gave a presentation about the project.

“It was amazing,” she said. “We want to bring computer science to the students, and provide opportunities to see real-world applications of their passion.”

For information, visit cruzhacks.com.


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