PickHacks 2019


Jonathan Segal / August 06, 2019

4 min read

PickHacks 2019

The next big hackathon was PickHacks which was at Missouri S&T. I tried to get as many of my friends as possible to all head down to Missouri for the weekend. I got a few of my friends and during the week before leaving we talked about what we were going to make and the game plan for the event. My teams also had one of the people from my last hackathon at Illinois Philip who was going to be there too. Friday afternoon we all got together and made the 6 hour-long trip down to Missouri.

Driving There

Because we had two teams we came up with as many ideas as possible together while brainstorming and decided what the best ones were and broke into teams based on what each of us found most interesting. I really wanted to do something with hockey because the theme was sports but some of my friends wanted to build an app that tracks food so those were our two ideas. We then came discussed how we were going to approach our projects and came up with a plan.

Our beautiful drawing of the idea

After getting to the school we made our way inside to the main lobby. There were a bunch of others at this hackathon it was one of the larger ones that I have been too.

The main lobby at Missouri S&T

By the time we got there we were running a little late on time so we went up and got checked in and went to the opening ceremony.

Waiting in line to check-in

The opening ceremony was pretty cool, Mike Swift the guy who started MLH was there to talk about his story and how he started MLH. The others that spoke were from the companies that were sponsoring the weekend, they all talked about their companies and the prizes that their companies were sponsoring.

Opening Ceremony with Mike Swift!

After the opening ceremony, we only had 3 people on our team and we wanted to be eligible for the women's hack prize because we already had one girl on our team so we talked to another girl and had her join our team to help us with our project. After getting settled into our table we went over to check out some hardware to try to get something hocked up to the hockey sticks we originally thought about using Arduinos

The MLH hardware Lab

Dinner was served shortly after and we all made our way down to the line in the main lobby.


We decided that using Arduino was going to be too challenging so we switched over to just using our phones.

Talking with some of the companies

We started working on getting everything set up we decided to use firebase to transmit data from the phones to a web application that would track all the phones and data.

Other ISU team

The other team from Iowa state got to work as well and found someone else to work with from Missouri.

Ellissa got second place in musical chairs

My team took a quick break to play musical chairs.

Getting the makeshift hockey net setup

We got a hockey net set up to play around with our project and to test to see if the calculations for tracking location and speed were working. Right before we were about to demo we broke things and one of the mentors helped us get our app working and thankfully we got it working right before we submitted it.

Presenting our project

We got a special spot at the end of the hallway to demo our project because of how much space we needed to set up the hockey net.

The Squad

The judges had a lot of fun with our project they all got to see how hard they were able to shoot the ball into the net and compare how hard their swings were.

Talking about the project

Because we were top five we demoed our project in front of everyone at the event.

We got second place!

We won second place! Here is a recap video check it out.

I’m in this for a split second!

Check out the Project on Devpost

Check out the Repository on GitHub

The top three teams

This was a great event overall and the first one where my team placed. Our project was big and interactive and that was a big reason why we won.

If you want to watch the whole closing ceremony here it is.

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