Friday, May 17, 2024

MTSU’s fourth Hack-MT provides creative outlet for over 200 student inventors


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Photos by Benjamin Henkle / MTSU Sidelines , Enrique Geronimo / MTSU Sidelines and Christina Higgins / MTSU Sidelines

Story by Benjamin Henkle / Contributing Writer and Christina Higgins/ Contributing Writer

As the fourth annual MTSU Hack-MT came to a grand finale on Sunday, the sleep-deprived inventors took pride in their accomplishments. The event began on Friday and continued until Sunday, starting with participants getting into teams and manifesting their ideas.

Hack-MT is an inclusive event, welcoming participants from any university, major and skill level. Software engineers, computer programmers, graphic designers and other STEM enthusiasts are invited to team up and collaborate toward one goal: creating something new and exciting.

As teams grew, so did the creative spirit. The students worked 36 hours straight up until the science fair portion on Sunday where they were given the opportunity to present their finished projects, including video games, music, design projects and more.

Among the visitors at Sunday’s science fair was MTSU President Sidney McPhee.

McPhee, who has been to all four of MTSU’s annual “Hackathons,” said what he enjoys most about Hack-MT is, “hearing the students describe their projects and then looking at … how complex the projects are and for them to be able to conceive it and then create it, develop it and then present it in such a … distinct way is really exciting. And it really shows the creativity and the imagination of the students.”

Inventions covered everything from a creative take on the popular video game, “Dance Dance Revolution,” to a collection of analytics circulating global warming.

According to the Master of Ceremonies, Brendan Wovchko, “its wild what people come up with.”  He also added that “the primary outcome is a collaboration between students … Hackathons are about learning and growth.”

One participant, Steven Sheffey, told Sidelines, “I come to Hackathons because they pressure me to sort of come up with a cool project and finish it in time.”

Approximately 250 students and 24 mentors from all regions of Tennessee participated. Winning first prize in the contest was Team CDUB, who created a sandbox with a motion camera that detects the height of the sand and depicts the varying heights through colors. The team included two MTSU students, Jacob Crawford and Candace Boyce.

To contact News Editor Angele Latham, email

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