4th annual Hackathon event draws more than 600 students

More than 600 hackers showed up at UT Dallas over the weekend for iCode’s 4th annual Hackathon event. They say the fast-paced world is relying more on technology each day, saying they believe it’s important for students to master the digital world. Digital Correspondent Sarah Macias was at the event and gives us a look.

Classrooms at the University of Texas at Dallas were packed with more than 360 students over the weekend.

The students were younger than the average college freshman, all learning the same skill; hacking.

"The iCode Hackathon is about the Art of Innovation." said COO of iCode, Mike Meyers.

Meyers says this event gives children the chance to change the world one code at a time.

Elementary through high school students, grouped in teams of two or three each have a situation to fix.

"How do you decrease crime in a city? How do you improve the situation with pollution? Things like this." said Meyers.

"We thought of an idea of this robot, that picks up your lost stuff during the night It’s just fixing a large annoyance." said Spencer Boyce, a 6th grader teamed up with two other people.

Boyce said fixing problems became a fun thing to do.

Organizers gave out electronic prizes to the groups who presented their projects well.

Win or lose, Jemicia Williams said her daughter has the upper hand by learning a new skill.

"She didn’t quite understand what hacking was and she thought it was a bad thing, and I explained to her obviously that it is not." said Willis.

"Hacking is actually learning to solve problems, it’s learning to breakthrough and solve problems that exist in the world." said Meyers.

In a digital savvy world, some experts say a "technological tsunami" is in the works.

"Technology is starting to get easier and easier to use instead of doing the old, like what we did before." said Boyce.

"I really like that fact that my daughter doesn’t really have a hacking background and for this Hackathon it said that no experience was required." said Willis.

Willis said with no doubt, her daughter will be back next year.