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NASA's Hackathon Returns To Cairo On October 19th and 20th

Mark Jernigan, the Environmental Control and Life Support Manager at NASA will be the guest of honour attending this year's event.

NASA’s Space Apps Cairo chapter is gearing up to participate in the International Space Apps Challenge, the world's largest hackathon for the 4th time in a row taking place on the 19th and 20th of October at Nile University. The hackathon is organised by IEEE Egypt Section and sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

“We’re reaching out to women’s organisations influential in the data and maker communities to participate, and we encourage women-led teams in the hackathon,” said Deborah Diaz, NASA's chief technology officer for information technology.

The hackathon is a part of NASA’s Earth Science Division and is preparing to engage thousands of citizens every year across the globe to work with NASA in building innovative solutions for the challenges we face on Earth and in space using open source data. It is a technology development event that draws on the talents and initiative of bright minded volunteers – developers, engineers, technologists, designers, and anyone with a passion and desire to make an immediate impact on the world or with an interest in Earth, space, and open data.

Cairo has been hosting the challenge since 2015; it is ranked amongst the most successful cities hackathons worldwide due to the largest number of registered applicants globally. This year with the Egyptian Government announcing 2018 to be the year of the Special Abilities, Space Apps Cairo will run a local challenge in co-operation with SPEdu, a project co-funded by Erasmus+ to develop assistive technology to empower children with special abilities.

Mark Jernigan, the Environmental Control and Life Support Manager at NASA will be the guest of honour attending this year's event. He has worked at NASA for over 35 years, developing and delivering hardware and software projects and advanced capabilities for human spaceflight.

The first hackathon to take place in Cairo was the largest worldwide, producing the largest number of on-site solutions and being the largest event led by women organisers.

In 2016, Cairo has been chosen by NASA as one of a few exemplary sites for the Global Organising Team to attend. Blake Garcia, on behalf of the global organisers, attended and handed the organising team a trophy of the extraordinary 2016 Space Apps event. In 2017 and with the celebration of the year of Women in Egypt, we received UN Women's support 52 teams out of the 60 accepted teams had female participant, as well as 21 teams from schools. In addition for the first time, an Egyptian Team is one of the Global Finalist for the most inspirational projects.

Main Image: Last year's hackathon. Courtesy of NASA's Space Apps Cairo.


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