RS Components has teamed up with Met Office scientists to deliver a Hackathon – ‘SciActiHack’ – that will take place at the Lighthouse, Brighton (Feb 22-23) as part of the Brighton Science Festival.

A Hackathon is an event where scientists, engineers, teachers, students and anyone interested in computer science and software development come together to collaborate and innovate on a range of projects for educational or social purposes. Participants form small teams and are set a challenge. Exploration and creation is then encouraged during the course of the event, which usually takes place over a weekend and is conducted in public view.

The Met Office, the UK’s national weather service, has held around a dozen Hackathons, the first being an International Space App event in collaboration with NASA in 2012.

Met Office organiser and early pioneer of the Hackathon, Michael Saunby, Senior Scientific Software Engineer, said: “Our mission at the Met Office is to make science fun and bring people together, fostering teamwork and supporting them in exploring and using technology. There will be five challenges to choose from during the Hackathon which will include new ideas for climate related or energy efficient activities involving making, science and even some coding. The RS challenge asks participants to think of ways to charge a mobile phone using sustainable energy.”

Tracey Taylor, SEO executive at RS who has helped co-ordinate the event, commented: “We are really excited to be involved with the Met Office. Our objective at RS is to nurture innovation and back the design engineers of the future and the Hackathon is an ideal way in which to do this as it promotes the use of open-source. We have supported the event providing components including Raspberry Pis, Arduino Development Kits and a 3D printing facility.”

The Brighton ‘SciActiHack’ is free and open to anyone aged 11+ (under 18s must be accompanied by an adult). It takes place during the weekend of 22–23 February, from 11am-6pm Saturday, (10am-3pm Sunday) at the Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street, Brighton BN1 4AJ.

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