Coding in the Community, Hackathon, Home

Adventures at Chicago Hacks 2017

Rolling blog… Chicago Hacks 2017

Sunday  May 28, 2017

10:45 am – Train Ride home!

9:30 am – Judging & Demos – want to try the app? It’s called “Snooze, You Lose” and it is an alarm that requires that the user either walk 10 steps or answer a riddle correctly in order to shut the alarm off. It helps people that have a hard time waking up in the morning!

Download the APK for Android!

Search for “Snooze, You Lose 2” in MIT App Inventor

8:20 am – After much discussion and donuts, the decision is made that everyone will stay, Nicole and Nikki will demo the app at 9:30am and we will catch a 10:40 am train home. The last bug is fixed, Nikki takes screen caps, Nicole prepares a final release and completes the online code submission.

7:42 am – Donuts everywhere

5:51 am – We decide to take the 8:40 am train instead of the 12:40 am train. The girls are tired and a new bug has emerged. They want to go home.

5:32 am – What’s my name again? LOL

3:33 am – App is done (more or less). Nicole publishes an .apk and downloads it on a tablet for a quick run. The app icon doesn’t load, but we are done…and tired… 😉

2:24 am  – Formatting alarm dates and time

2:03 am – pedometer and riddles are integrated and final testing is finishing up…Caroline is asleep on the floor. I just heard someone yell “It Works!!” from down the a hallway…

12:30 am – Insomnia Cookies and Henna Tatoos – Riddles are being merged into alarm

Saturday  May 27,  2017

Midnight – pedometer is working, alarm is working – now with custom sound, riddles are working – with help from Jessie – Nikki has an app icon and graphics… but all of the pieces are completely separate from one another

11:30pm – girls run off to record an alarm sound “Good Morning” – they escape to the bathroom to avoid lots of other noisy teenagers!

10 pm stuff is coming together…

8:30 pm coffee & coding

6:30 pm dinner – noodles and company

5:30 pm groups form – Isabella and Rosie on pedometer, Nikki on graphics, Jessie take a cat nap, Caroline on riddles, Nicole on core alarm

4:30 pm gaming class, Nicole builds out the first part of the alarm – comparing the device system time with the date time the user picks

~4 pm Girls use post-its to organize the pieces they needs to build their alarm clock app

2:36 pm

All girls except Nicole and I are at the HTML class… we have the Oculus Rift hooked up to the Alienware Desktop that Caroline checked out now… and Nicole is playing a game with a fox…. courtesy of Major League Hacks! Before she gets too motion sick…. we will see if we can build a unity game and deploy it on the Rift…. 😉



We were lucky enough to arrive a bit early and have procured a large table with room for everyone!


2017-2018 FVGCC Schedule

Fox Valley Girls Coding Club will meet for the 2017-18 school year on Friday evenings from 5:45 p.m.-7:45 p.m. at 25N Coworking on River Street in downtown Geneva.  This year’s coding projects include web and mobile projects and perhaps some work with IoT.  FVGCC is open to all girls, ages 14-18.  Limited spaces are available so please sign up now!  Contact us at


bookcoverWeb (October – December 2017): We will use Cloud9 online IDE (integrated development environment), GitHub and GitHubPages to build HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript websites. All of the girls will also have a subdomain on which they can deploy websites. This year we will be building web-based games based on the examples in Learn HTML5 by Creating Fun Games by Rodrigo Silveira.

Mobile and/or 3D Gaming (January – March 2018):

Mobile: We are looking at Thunkable for iOS and Android mobile app development. Right now, they only support Android, but they are collecting names of users who would like to be beta testers for their iOS version! As a backup, we can use React Native. If we go with React Native, we may use the book React Native Quickly by Azat Mardan.

3D: We are considering using the Unity Game Engine to get our feet wet and then we can consider future projects, which may involve deploying games to the Microsoft Hololens.

Gadget Month (April 2018): Awesome Shield has a pretty cool Arduino based hardware shield that can be used with their Ardiuno library in Adruino Studio. This might be a good stepping stone to more advanced bread-boarding with Arduino and Arduino Studio if the girls want to go in that direction! In the past, the girls have also used Makey Makeys to play the games they have built. We could take those to the next level and use some of the more advanced keyboard features. Robin also has a Hololens, Ozobot, Rasberry Pis to play with! Also, we can design models for 3D Printing using TinkerCad.

Meeting Schedule

October (Web) – 13, 20, 27

November (Web) – 3, 17 (November 10th Cancelled!)

December (Web) – 1, 8, 15

January (Mobile/3D Gaming) – 12, 26

February (Mobile/3D Gaming) – 2, 9, 23

March (Mobile/3D Gaming) – 9, 16, 23

April (Gadgets) – 6, 13, 20

May 4th – Last Class Cinco de Mayo Party!