Hundreds of students gather at U of A for annual 'Hack Arizona' - Tucson News Now

Hundreds of students gather at U of A for annual 'Hack Arizona'

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

More than 800 students from all over the U.S. and some from outside the county will be putting their creativity and skills to the test at the annual Hack Arizona event. 

The 'hackathon' runs from Friday, Jan. 13 to Sunday, Jan. 15 at the University of Arizona. 

Teams of students will be given 36 hours to create anything involving technology. 

Sponsors of this event include Microsoft, Amazon, Raytheon, Google, and IBM.  

These companies bring along everything from drones to hologram glasses for the students to use with their creations. The will be teaching workshops throughout the weekend as well. 

"It's really a crazy experience. You're meeting people who are working at Microsoft, Amazon. It really brings together a community of programmers, computer scientists who want to change the world," said Bob Chen, a participant. 

Austin Mutschler, Hack Arizona Marketing Director, said participants have been recruited by the sponsors in years past. 

"Last year our grand prize winner built a drone system that controlled a lot of drones at once. And he was able to receive a job at Raytheon for it. A lot of people get a lot of experience. A lot of people get recruited by a lot of corporations," Mutschler said. 

Mutschler said the main goal of the weekend is for everyone to be able to learn through hands on experience. He said they focused on reaching out to all majors this year. 

"It's like very big and there are so many companies out here. There's so many people and it's a really good way to exposure yourself to projects and things that you wouldn't imagine doing but have the opportunity to do," said Jaileen Salazar, a participant. 

The judging will take place Sunday morning in the Student Union's Grand Ballroom.

Inventions will be judged on originality, creativity, difficulty, and value proposition. 

The public can take a look at the projects at 10 a.m. 

For more information, visit Hack Arizona's website

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