Central New York, Technology

CNY Youth Work to Create Computer Programs to Beat Computer Bullies

Syracuse Youth Hackathon brings kids together to create computer programs against cyber bullying. (c) 2017 Mye Owens

By Mye Owens SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – With one in five parents stating their child has been bullied online, some are questioning if adults are the only ones who can help to solve the problem.

This Saturday children 8 to 16 will work as a team to create apps, games, and websites centered on internet safety as part of the first Cuse Youth Hackathon in the region.

Andrew Wladis is 10 and has been hacking and coding since he was 8. Andrew is participating in the Syracuse Youth Hackathon this weekend. “Kids trust kids” says Andrew, who would turn to his best friend if he was ever cyber bullied.

“Their experience in school, maybe they are being bullied themselves,” says Lynn Hughes, the Facility Coordinator for the Youth Hackathon. She believes kids know more about being cyber bullied because they see it firsthand.

By allowing kids to come up with ways to help other kids, the solution to cyber bullying may be in their hands.

“They might walk away saying I really like this, I want to keep working at this, and look at it into my future,” Hughes says. Even though the focus of the event is to find creative ways to fight cyber bullying, some kids may realize computers and helping others could lead to a career.

Students will be judged on the following:

  • Teamwork
  • Imagination
  • Code Skills
  • Design Skills

AT&T is sponsoring the Cuse Youth Hack. “AT&T is proud to collaborate with Tech4Kidz, The Tech Garden and Hack Upstate to provide this innovative experience for local students as it further enhances our commitment to providing resources for STEM and coding-related educational programming in the greater Syracuse region and throughout the State,” said Marissa Shorenstein, president, AT&T Northeast Region in a Tech Garden press release.

The event is free to participate in, and up to 40 students can  sign up  for the Youth Hackathon. The Hackathon will take place at the Syracuse Technology Garden from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.