Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization geared towards preparing young people in grades K-12 to succeed in a global economy through real world relationships with business, government, and education partners to help them develop the employability and financial literacy skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. Our innovative hands-on curriculum – provided at no cost to schools, students, or their families – emphasizes real world learning experiences and motivates youth to achieve by connecting them with corporate and community role models committed to investing in their future.
HackJA is a 24-hour student hackathon for 100-150 high schoolers planned by New Jersey high school students. In a hackathon, students are assigned tasks and challenges that are related to computer science and information technology. Students also get to participate in workshops and meet with mentors from various companies. It is a valuable experience for all students, regardless of whether they have no coding experience or are a coding master.
There will be 4 main competitions that should take up the majority of your time. Aside from that, 6-8 mini challenges will be scattered throughout the event.
You can take on as many challenges as you like, but if you're going to compete in one of the main challenges it is highly suggested you only work on one of them with your team.
It’s not about winning—it’s about learning and making friends that last for a lifetime (so everyone’s a winner!). If you’re thinking, “ahh- that’s adorable…but really,” then we’ve got you covered too. A panel of judges will evaluate the projects and big prizes (TBA) will be awarded accordingly.
No, you are welcome to join as a single participant as well! .
The event will be hosted over Slack, with Zoom being used for workshops. The Slack link will be posted on the day of the event on the main page of this website. The slack will be used to post the details of both the mini and main challenges, as well as the Zoom link to workshops.
No, your method of communication with your peers is entirely up to your decision. However, the Slack should be used to ask any questions you have about the event during the 24 hours, and you are free to communicate with other participants of the event using the Slack.
Not a problem! You can always start and gaining experience is the best way to do it! It’s entirely irrelevant what your experience is going into a hackathon, it’s more about your interest in technology. HackJA is designed specifically to engage students in the technology field in the most fun and welcoming way possible. If you’re wanting to learn how to code outside of a hackathon, there’s a fantastic blog post that you should read.
The judging panel for the four main challenges will contain of 6 to 10 professional judges that will evaluate your projects based on creativity, organization, and efficiency, and prizes will then be handed out accordingly. The mini challenges will most likely be judged by Student Leadership Committee members and will be evaluated based on the mini challenge you have entered.