Hacking for Chicago’s Youth at the Adler Planetarium

Youth Hackathon at Adler Planetarium #hackforchange

For National Day of Civic Hacking, the Adler Planetarium hosted hackathon to encourage young people to get involved in civic hacking. The event teamed youth with mentors to help create web applications and info-graphics around issues facing youth. Mentors included representatives from a number of organizations including the University of Chicago, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Mikva Challenge, and the Adler Planetarium.

There were several projects that came out of the weekend which we’re featuring here.

The first team put together a site called Healthy Sex that lets youth learn more about sexual health by entering their gender and sexual orientation. The site also directs youths to free health resources near them.

The next project was one that addressed the issue of peer pressure. The site highlights positive aspects of one neighborhood to help combat negative stereotypes. The project’s concept also includes the ability to provide mentorship opportunities between alumni and current students.

The next project involved raising awareness around the challenges facing undocumented workers. The first was to create an info-graphic showing the scope of the problem. The next step was to create an application that let undocumented residents get more information on their eligibility for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  Lastly, the project helps to facilitate communication to elected officials for the passage of the DREAM act.

The last project involved the issues of food deserts in Chicago. A food desert is an area where there is a lack of nutritional food choices. Using data sets from the City of Chicago, the team mapped out the locations of food deserts in the city in order to better understand how to provide access to fresh produce. The team also received a tour of the Fresh Moves bus; a converted CTA bus that acts as a mobile grocery store.

You can see more results from the Adler Youth Hackathon by visiting the Adler Planetarium website.

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