What is Change-a-thon?
Change-a-thon is an event hosted by Freetail Hackers and ACM for Change that serves to promote innovative ideas, implementations, and conversations centered around positive change. We hope to address cultural issues in the tech space (projects to improve mental health within the tech environment, ethical computer science idea proposals, diversity and equity solutions etc.) and to use technology to affect change in the social issues we face (civic tech, tech to address global warming, tech for non-profits etc.).

In order to do this, we will have two tracks: tech hacks and idea hacks. Tech hacks consists of technical projects that create change in any problem area you want to address. We want to provide students a space to learn about these important issues and to create informed products to address them. Idea hacks would consist of written and presented ideas for change. This could look like changes within the University, idea proposals, policy memos, a more ethical redesign of a commonly used app, etc. Change-a-thon aims to create a safe space for people both inside and outside the tech community to converse and collaborate to make lasting change and a better environment for everyone.
Why come to Change-a-thon?
If you've ever thought the tech space could be made more inclusive, better promote mental health and well-being, think more about ethics, or otherwise improved, Change-a-thon is the event for you! Change-a-thon aims to help foster discussions and ideas that will change the tech community for the better, and we highly encourage and welcome all who want to make a lasting difference! As always we'll have mentors to help answer any questions for your projects, technical or otherwise!
Who can Attend?
The event is open to college students over 18 year old. This includes undergraduate and graduate students from other universities. All levels of experience and all majors are welcome! Beginner? No problem! We'll have mentors and workshops to help you develop new skills. All you need to come in with is a desire to create. Interested in learning something new? We'll have plenty of people to help teach you how to make an impact right from your own desk! Check out our beginner hackathon starting guide here!
Inclusion
As mentioned, the Learnathon is designed for everyone. In order to have a space that truly fosters growth, we require that all our attendees, mentors, and organizers are respectful of each other. To that end, all participants are expected to follow the MLH Code of Conduct to facilitate a safe space and positive hackathon experience for everyone!
Schedule
May 8, 8:45 AM - 3PM
May 8, 3PM - May 9, 12PM
Start Time
Title
Blurb
8:45 am
Opening Ceremony
Join us as we kick off our event with some general information and resources to guide you throughout the weekend. | link
9:00 am
Tech track Ideation Workshop | link
We will discuss our process for forming good technical hackathon/project ideas
Idea track Ideation Workshop | link
We will discuss our process for forming good project idea proposals
10:00 am
Intro to Git | link
Learn how to use the world's most popular version control system to collaborate on software development.
Intro to Social Entrepreneurship ft. SELL | link
11:00 am
Programming basics | link
Let’s learn how to code in Python! Beginner friendly :)
Product Management ft. TPEO | link
12:00 pm
Intro to App Dev | link
Learn how to create an app in less than an hour, compatible with both Android and iPhone! We will be using React Native, be sure to have Expo and VS Code (or any other IDE) installed!
Civic Tech Project | link
1:00 pm
Intro to Web dev | link
Learn React, HTML, and CSS by building a todo list
Mental Health at Hackathons ft A4C | link
Snack pickup @ GDC with 8VC
Come to the GDC and get a goodie bag! Also come meet 8VC, the sponsors of this event!
Office Hours/Resume Review | link
Feel free to hop in and get help with your project or resume!
2:00 pm
Intro to Databases | link
Fix an intergalactic faster than light spaceship and learn the fundamentals of SQL, MongoDB, and Neo4j
Snack pickup @ GDC
Come to the GDC and get a goodie bag!
Office Hours/Resume Review | link
Feel free to hop in and get help with your project or resume!
Start Time
Title
Blurb
3:00 pm
Tech & Society ft. A4C | link
Snack pickup @ GDC
Come to the GDC and get a goodie bag!
Office Hours/Resume Review | link
Feel free to hop in and get help with your project or resume!
Office Hours/Resume Review | link
Feel free to hop in and get help with your project or resume!
5:00 pm
Bob Ross Painting | link
Office Hours/Resume Review | link
Feel free to hop in and get help with your project or resume!
Office Hours/Resume Review | link
Feel free to hop in and get help with your project or resume!
7:00 pm
Office Hours/Resume Review | link
Feel free to hop in and get help with your project or resume!
8:00 pm
Office Hours/Resume Review
Feel free to hop in and get help with your project or resume!
9:00 pm
Submissions due
Trivia Night | link
Come join us for some trivia!
10:00 pm
Game Night | link
Come join us for some chill online games!
May 9
10:00 am
Judging begins
12:00 pm
Closing Ceremony
Who are Freetail Hackers?
We're a group of UT Austin students who love organizing hackathons for college students. We also love going to them. If you enjoy both of these, you should apply to our team when applications open in December! Applications will be posted on our Facebook page. Need to reach out to us for any further questions or want to work with us for the next event? Email us at [email protected] or visit our website!
Who is ACM for Change?
ACM for Change (A4C) is a student-led council formed under UTCS's Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Our purpose is to improve the UTCS department in the areas of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Mental Health, and Ethics to ensure all students — regardless of race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender, or technical experience — feel welcomed in the often stressful environment we learn in, and are prepared to use their knowledge to work for the betterment of the world around them after they graduate. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at [email protected]!
FAQ

How do teams work?

Teams can be up to 4 members. If you don't have a team, don’t worry! Joining a team of new friends is the best part of a hackathon. We will have team matching available for everyone on the day of the event, but if you would like to message our channel and create a team beforehand, that's okay too! We will have a spreadsheet to fill out and confirm team information.

How do I volunteer?

We always appreciate having mentors to coach teams throughout the building process and anyone with tech experience is welcome to help out. We are also looking for mentors with experience and expertise in spaces that need change. We want students to create thoughtful change and part of that process includes learning about the problem space they are trying to create change in. Fill out the mentor form above and if you have any other questions email us at [email protected]!

How much money will this cost me?

Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Gratis. It's free. Freetail Hackers will provide all students with mentors, tech talks, and prizes!

Any rules?

All work must be done during the 12-hour period of the event. You can't demo something you didn't build. Don't talk about Fight Club. All attendees (hackers, supporters, mentors, volunteers, etc.) must abide by the MLH Code of Conduct.

When is the Changeathon?

The Changeathon will be Saturday May 8th.

When does registration close?

Registration closes when the Changeathon starts! Because of the online setting, we want to open up the opportunity to as many people as possible. However, we would love it if you could fill out the application as soon as possible to help us plan for the event :)

Will there be prizes and tracks?

Yes! We plan to give prizes to the top placing team in each category. Our categories for the Tech Hacks track will be: hacks for individual change, hacks for community change, and hacks for global change. For the Idea Track, our prizes will be a platform for you to present your idea to the relevant groups that can help you implement that change.