Last week’s hackathon gave rise to five amazing projects, on which 19 bright young people from across CERN worked together to develop useful apps that support science, research and education. The ideas covered in the 2023 CERN Webfest included web applications that facilitate the research process, quiz-like educational games and useful upgrades to pre-existing apps.
The projects were carefully assessed by a panel of four distinguished judges, and two teams were named the winners. “All projects were fascinating and creative, so it was a hard call – especially the two winning projects, SciFeed and CERNbot, which were both exceptionally impressive and well executed,” says Alberto Di Meglio, the head of the Innovation section in the IT department and a jury member.
In only two days, participants had to come up with an idea for a project, assemble a team, describe the project’s purpose, identify its technical requirements and work towards developing a fully functioning app. “Having only 48 hours to finish a project forces you to come up with practical solutions quickly, which puts your problem-solving skills to the test,” says Angelo Petrellese, a member of CERNbot, one of the winning teams.
The hackathon not only offers participants the chance to develop their project ideas but also fosters networking and collaboration. More than 10 nationalities were represented in this year’s Webfest, with people from various cultural backgrounds coming together to create something unique, exchange knowledge and learn from each other.
The projects were judged based on their originality, level of technical sophistication and potential for positive social impact. The highest score for the technical solution went to CERNbot, which is an interactive mobile application game that allows you to handle CERN robots in augmented reality.
The other winning project, SciFeed, in addition to being very strong technically, was also rated highly for the educational value it provides for the wider community. SciFeed is an online platform that curates content to allow students and STEM enthusiasts to engage with the science of CERN. “I am genuinely grateful for the recognition our idea received from the judges. Winning will always be a cherished memory that we will share as a team but, more importantly, it will serve as a driving force, motivating us to delve deeper into our concept and explore its potential for further development,” says Viona Cafo, a SciFeed member.
If you are interested in finding out more about the other 2023 CERN Webfest projects, visit the Webfest website.