Hack Day : Student Edition
Following on from the success of the professional Liverpool Hacks meet Hackers event in July, local company ScraperWiki, in partnership with Open Labs & Liverpool School of Art & Design, held a ‘Student Edition’ of the Hacks meet Hackers Hack Day for both LJMU’s School of Journalism and the School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences.
This practical event demonstrated how to utilise programming and design techniques to create online news stories and features based on ‘datasets’ from publicly available data.
The ultimate aim of this event was to demonstrate to student journalists how to use programming and design techniques to create online news stories and features; and vice versa, to show student coders/developers/programmers how to find, develop, and polish stories and features.
Attracting a mix of students from both schools was essential to create the balance of hacks (journalists) and hackers (coders/programmers) who were introduced to the concept of data driven journalism. The event was sponsored by Trinity Mirror which meant we had the added bonus of some professional journalists on hands to assist the students with fleshing out their ideas for projects.
Armed with laptops and Wifi, students fell into teams of around four to five based on topics which were of interest to them to develop project ideas.
The range of subjects which emerged included ‘Football League Attendance’: which related attendance at matches with performance on the pitch; ‘Police Helicopters’: an interesting investigation into the cost effectiveness of Helicopters in Merseyside policing; ‘The Class Divide’: a topical and interesting set of data reflecting the type of education current MPs enjoyed and whether some of them may have faired otherwise if they had to pay for their university education; and finally ‘Scraping the Barrel’: which was an unusual look into school applications in relation to Health statistics of a number of wards in the Liverpool region.
Towards the end of a feverish day of activity and excitement, each team where given the opportunity to present their project to the group.
The day culminated in a judging session, where all projects were assessed on a guidance criteria which included categories such as ‘concept development’ ‘execution of idea’, ‘project potential’ and ‘presentation format’, with a final prize giving session for the Judges’ winning project, which was ‘Scraping the Barrel’.Hacks meet Hackers Student Edition : a collaboration between ScraperWiki & Open Labs & the Liverpool School of Art & Design at Liverpool John Moores University and sponsored by Trinity Mirror.
For further information about Open Labs contact Director, Lindsay Sharples: email@example.com or 0151 231 4747.