DC students wow at Teaching City Hackathon

A team of Durham College (DC) students captured an impressive second-place finish in the first-ever Teaching City Hackathon on March 3. A total of 10 teams of Oshawa post-secondary students went head-to-head on International Open Data Day for their chance to win $1,500 by proposing a solution to a public policy challenge around the theme of improving residential rental housing in Oshawa.

Members of the DC team known as P.A.M. received a $750 prize for their solution of a website that focused on the inclusivity of the most marginalized Oshawa populations. Each of the competition’s top three teams will now work with the Hackathon Steering Committee, Spark Centre and local entrepreneurs to review opportunities for their proposed solutions to be refined and developed into a potential commercial product, a process which could be explored through partnerships and further research and exploration by students and faculty in their institutions.

“The Teaching City Hackathon not only provided fresh ideas and new approaches to residential rental housing in Oshawa, but also an enriched educational experience,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry. “I am constantly amazed by the brilliant minds that call Oshawa home. Giving opportunities to young people will change the world, and this is a great example.”

“I was very impressed by the students’ ability to address the challenge from a number of different angles, the creativity of their solutions to the challenge and their presentation skills,” said Janse Tolmie, chief information officer and associate vice-president, Information Technology, DC.

The Hackathon was the second project of Teaching City, a formal collaboration between the City of Oshawa, Canadian Urban Institute, DC, Trent University Durham GTA, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and University of Toronto Department of Civil Engineering. Teaching City aims to establish Oshawa as a city focused on experiential learning, applied research and innovative teaching partnerships to address urban issues.

Learn more about Teaching City and its upcoming initiatives on the Teaching City web page.