HackGT's New 'Catalyst' Brings Computer Skills to the Underserved


On April 15, HackGT hosted over 200 local high school students for Catalyst, a day-long computer science "learnathon" in the Klaus Advanced Computing Building at Georgia Tech. Throughout the day, students worked in pairs with mentors from industry, Georgia Tech, and surrounding universities to learn computing concepts and build a variety of projects.

In the months leading up to the event, organizers from HackGT reached out to different communities via multiple channels. Outreach focused on high school students in underserved communities. Early research identified schools lacking both in-school and extracurricular computer science education. Emails, phone calls, and in-person visits to over 20 high schools in south Atlanta helped spread awareness of the event and drive interest.

224 students attended Catalyst. Of these, 79% are from under-represented minorities in STEM (African-American, Hispanic, Native American). 40% of attendees identified as female.

Catalyst is the first major expansion of HackGT's programming. Last year, their annual student hackathon drew over 1,000 students. To learn more about their work, visit www.hackgt.com. You can also see more 'Catalyst' photos here

Special thanks to HackGT for this guest post.