For us, the best part of RoboHacks was the knowledge that we managed to enable our participants to gain tremendous insight into themselves and their relationships with technology. One of our participants described RoboHacks as “a gateway into the world of mechanics”; another said it “erased [her] insecurities about going into [engineering]”. We even influenced a participant to add a mechatronics specialization to his desired major in university. As is made evident by the comments we received from our younger participants, we have spread enthusiasm for robotics among the CÉGEP community in Montréal. In addition to that, we are thrilled to have done the same throughout North America – our attendees hailed from all over the continent (Yale, Waterloo, and MIT, among many others).
A recently emerging (and unfortunate) trend within the hackathon community is a tendency to move away from a friendly learning environment and toward a tense, competitive one. Obviously, hackathons by nature have a competitive element; at RoboHacks, we aimed to revitalize and emphasize the educational ...
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...ortunities. We were able to gain valuable administrative skills such as ensuring efficient communication, prioritizing tasks, and generally keeping organized. Furthermore, in the aftermath of the event, we were enlightened to the importance of encouraging innovation in young adults, especially those who are on the cusp of entering the academic and/or professional world. During RoboHacks, we were able to see, in real time, confidence gradually develop in young adults who might have initially felt intimidated by the idea of a hardware hackathon, or by the skill level of some of their fellow participants. Hearing from some of our younger participants about this newfound confidence and enthusiasm for something we are all passionate about -- robotics -- has been immensely rewarding. We are all incredibly eager to see this project develop further in the years to come.
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