SBCC students who won top awards at SB Hacks include (front row, left to right) Nidhal Selmi, Colin Allen, Zack Feinn, Russ Fenenga; and (back row, left to right) Ashley Cortez, John Michael Bachmann, Tyler Hall, and Jon Steelsmith.

Two SBCC teams were among the top winners at a recent hackathon called SB Hacks held at UCSB. The 36-hour, no-sleep event drew about 550 college students from 15 schools across the state.

Colin Allen, John Michael Bachmann, Tyler Hall, and Jon Steelsmith — on team WiPi — won “Best Overall Hack” for their project called Eco Node, a network of environmental sensors that seeks to improve the quality of water, soil, and air pressure in pipes. The team won two virtual reality headsets, two licenses for virtual reality development kits, and an all expense paid trip to Taiwan for the largest international hackathon called HackNTU. This isn’t the first time team WiPi took home top awards; they also won at CalHacks Berkeley and HackCC in Santa Monica.

Another SBCC team won “Best iOS Hack App” for their project Event Hype, an iPhone app that organizes data and connects users at public events. Teammates Ashley Cortez, Zack Feinn, Russ Fenenga, and Nidhal Selmi won admissions to Make School Summer Academy, a highly competitive program in Silicon Valley.

SBCC President Lori Gaskin expressed pride for the teams. “Their technical skills, creativity and competiveness have put them in the top tier of computer technology students at both two-year and four-year colleges and universities,” Gaskin said. “On behalf of the college, I commend them on their outstanding performances.”

Teams at UCSB, UC Irvine, and UCLA also won top awards. Several tech companies, including Citrix, AppFolio, Cisco, OpenGov, Microsoft, and others, sponsored the event.


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