MetroStar and Osbourn Park High School Host Hackathon


Reads: MetroStar and Osbourn Park High School Host Hackathon

At MetroStar, we believe in the power of education and inspiration; we recently partnered with Osbourn Park High School to help their computer science program conduct its first hackathon. This event brought together a community of 100 enthusiastic students and our technology leaders, resulting in an inspiring showcase of talent and innovation.

A Fusion of Passion and Creativity

Our partnership started with a former MetroStar intern turned computer science teacher who connected with us to partner on a series of events aimed at educating her students about a career in digital transformation and Civic Tech.Image (25)

We started with a panel discussion in early 2024, talking about diverse careers in Product, Design, Development, and Engineering and the varied backgrounds each panelist took to arrive at their careers.

In early May, we kicked off the student hackathon, giving the students three weeks to work on a project of their choosing. The students were grouped into teams of three to five and challenged with selecting a dataset, designing and developing their applications, and presenting their concepts as part of their end-of-year evaluation.

Guiding the Next Generation

One of MetroStar's core cultural values is community engagement, and this event was a perfect example of that. Our team of experts was on hand to guide the students through each step of the process, providing insights into app development, user experience, and presentation skills. This type of mentorship is invaluable, offering students a glimpse into the professional world of technology and the collaborative spirit necessary not only to deliver a successful project but also what is needed to establish themselves as a team player people want to work with which is fundamental to growing a successful career.

The Projects: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The hackathon was rooted in entrepreneurship. Each team had the autonomy to select a dataset to drive the narrative and purpose of their project. Some teams pivoted to new datasets if they discovered one that provided them with a more compelling or inspirational vision or purpose. The projects were as diverse as the twenty teams, reflecting the students' creativity, collaboration, and technical skills.

Over two days, each of the twenty teams had ten minutes to present their applications to our technical evaluators, who rated them on a variety of presentation skills and technical requirements.

Students who selected a dataset that had a personal meaning and created an application that had a defined market need tended to score higher. That aside, every team delivered an application that met all the requirements and showed up to present their work.

Image (26)

“I wish I had this type of opportunity in high school with a teacher that had such forethought connecting the real world and academics at such an early age,” said Jason Stoner, MetroStar’s Sr. Director of Transformation. “Hindsight being what it is, I can only speculate if I would have taken advantage of the opportunity and learned from it.”

The Impact: Building Confidence and Skills

For many students, this hackathon was their first exposure to a real-world technical challenge. The experience was transformative, elevating their understanding of what is required and igniting a passion for the role technology plays. They learned to work together under pressure, think critically, and work effectively as a team. Essential skills and life lessons for any career they ultimately choose.

Image (28)“I hope we left the students with a “sticky moment” that they will retain and look back on as a pivotal moment that helped shape who they will ultimately become because this was a moment that I will look back on as I continue to grow,” said Stoner.

At MetroStar, we are committed to continuing our collaboration with educational institutions to inspire the next generation of Civic Tech and transformation leaders. Events like this hackathon are just one aspect of opening the understanding and inspiration of young minds. By fostering a solid foundation in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math) education and promoting innovation, we can help shape a future where technology serves as a force for positive and meaningful change.

Subscribe to our newsletter to hear more updates on our community initiatives and upcoming events.

subscribe here