64 hours of coding

The silicon shire’s brightest tech minds tackle real-world problems

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Nathan Calkins / The Torch
Conner Lindsley, Genevieve Mallins, Andy Darnall and Ash Levy present their final project for Hack for a Cause to their teacher Jan Halvorsen.

The Eugene Hack for a Cause is a platform for volunteers to create solutions for various community issues. This year, there are 11 challenges that the community faces. Teams had from 8 p.m. on Friday to noon on Sunday to invent creative ways to solve these problems.

“This is a bridge between nonprofits and people with the tech talent in town,”  Megan McMillan said. McMillan is a software engineer at CBT Nuggets and was a part of the planning committee for Hack For Cause.

Nathan Calkins / The Torch
LCC’s Hack for a Cause team Andy Darnall, Conner Lindsley, Genevieve Mallins, Ash Levy, Misty Holmes and Mac Bohlman present their project to the judges. Industry professionals reviewed projects and hosted workshops throughout the weekend-long problem-solving event.

In the mix of the 34 teams that participated in the event, there were multiple Lane Community College students who joined the competition. One of the teams included Andy Darnell, a game art major at LCC. Darnell’s team took up the challenge of the augmented reality comics in the overpark garage.

“We want people to experience Eugene’s tech innovation and prove that we are on the forefront of new tech,” Darnell said.

The teams worked around the clock with sponsors, charities and businesses in the community to design their project. The projects ranged from establishing websites for community charities to designing a poster to be put up somewhere in Eugene.

The posters created by Darnell’s team will be in the stairwell of the Parcade Arcade parking garage. With the effort from all of the members, the group was able to generate an augmented reality poster based on retro video games to represent Eugene’s dedication to technology.

“We used iconic landscapes from video games like retro Donkey Kong,” Darnell adds. “We also did a Mario influenced underwater level, a Zelda-influenced fantasy level and a Kirby influenced level.”

Nathan Calkins / The Torch
Mac Bohlman puts the final touches on her team’s Hack for a Cause project. The team collaborated to create an augmented reality art piece that will be in the Parcade Arcade parking garage in downtown Eugene.

Working into all hours of the night, the teams were able to construct solutions for numerous organizations, including 15th night, Adventure! Children’s Museum, Egan Warming Center, 20x21EUG Mural Project by City of Eugene Cultural Service’s Public Art Program, Parenting Now!, White Bird Clinic, TRANS*Ponder and Glimmer Technology. Participants were inspired to provide a helping hand to these groups through their passion for technology.

“It’s our love for technology and how it’s being integrated into art,” team member Brittany Polley said.

The third annual Hack for a Cause once again brought together a need and a solution for pressing issues in the community. The challenges were met with various solutions that can be seen all around Eugene, including the new augmented reality poster created by a few Lane Community College students in the Overpark garage on 1000 East 10th Ave.