April 2016, Volume 20, Number 2


Sharks Reign Supreme in MIT Hackathon

Dozens of innovative thinkers from the region convened at The Idea Center to create disruptive solutions to stem the tide of childhood obesity as part of the MIT Hacking Health event, a groundbreaking program from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Among them were teams of MDC students who left the competition victorious, taking first and second place in this two-day hackathon event that included public health professionals, educators, nutritionists, community health organizations, coders, behavioral psychologists, engineers and more. In addition to students from The Idea Center at MDC, nearly 20 Medical Campus students and faculty also took part.

The first-place idea, Project Playground, proposes to create a social platform where parents can search for local sports teams and activities for their kids and sign them up.

“We took a big-picture approach that would have the potential to impact a wider audience, and I think that’s what the judges liked about our idea,” said student Jorge Castillo, who came up with the concept with his teammates Enrique Dediego, Yonah Elorza, Derrick Miller and Jose Sylvestri.

The second-place idea, Play Fit, involves a wearable gaming system for kids. Conceived by students Arturo J. Gómez Real, Dylan Tackoor and Marlise Urscheler, the device would read kids’ physical activity and give them points based on how active they are. Those points help the game’s main character level up.

Both teams will use their prize money to continue refining the prototypes they developed during the Hacking Health event and have even been discussing ways that their ideas could work together. They’ll also have the opportunity to showcase their solutions to industry leaders and participate in Startupbootcamp, a global network of startup accelerators.


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