Hackathon Event Shines Brightly…..Again!

Hackathon Event Shines Brightly…..Again!

During August, for the second year in a row, the IT Center and the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing – SPARCS program hosted two-day Bright Ideas Hackathon for students in high school and college freshman who identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary.  


We had a such a wonderful turnout!  Five small teams under the guidance of IT practitioner mentors from Minnesota businesses brainstormed and settled upon app creations ranging from ways to reduce food waste, how to enjoy and preserve nature, and options to reduce your carbon footprint. It was inspiriting to witness the commitment of these future business leaders as they worked together to solve some of today’s biggest problems.


Thank you so much to our partners & mentors. Thank you to Target, Land O’ Lakes, and FR Secure for generously allowing your employees to volunteer to support and guide the hackathon attendees.


Our future is looking bright!





Special thanks to our amazing mentors: 

Victoria Fogarty, FR Secure

Megan Giesen, Land O’Lakes

Marysa Hak, Target

Sean Hoops, Target

Nimco Hussein,  Target

Charles Killmer, FR Secure

Megan Larkins, FR Secure

Hannah Rothamel, Land O’Lakes

Laine Ruska, Land O’Lakes

Isaac Stitz, Land O’Lakes



Aspirations in Computing Awards

Applications Are Now Open

Who may apply?

Students enrolled in Minnesota schools in grades 9-12 who identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary.

By applying you will be invited to participate in a variety of technology activities (like SPARCS) offered in the months ahead.



About SPARCS/MNAiC:  Sustaining Passion, Ambition and Resolve for Career Success (SPARCS) is a year-round program designed to inspire female high school student interest in technology careers.  The Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Program (MNAiC) is a talent development program that supports and guides students who identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary to pursue an IT education and career path.



About Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence: The ITCoE exists to encourage Minnesota youth and adults to pursue careers in I.T. and computer science. Through collaboration with the tech industry, our partners, and educators; we seek out, develop, and provide low or no-cost resources that teach relevant, high demand, and applicable I.T. workforce skills.