Queensland Academy Celebrates Inaugural Hackfest Contest

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Funmi Ogundare

There was excitement recently, as Queensland Academy, Lagos, marked the first edition of its Hackfest day celebration aimed at ensuring that students are able to explore and deploy technology to solve the basic problems confronting the economy.
The programme which was unprecedented in the history of the school, had in attendance top professionals and major players in the Information, Communication and Technology industry from all over the world.
The participating schools included; Mater Dei College, Grace Schools, Riverside College, as well as teams from the host school, Queensland Academy and others like Canterbury Schools and ST & T Schools, who participated online.
They were presented with problem statements to work with within a specified timeframe.
For two successive days, contestants battled for the ultimate prize.
The Supervising Director of Queensland Academy, Mrs. Folakemi Okunoren, who welcomed participants, commended the bravery of every team and challenged them to bring their creativity to bear.
” The fact that the programme was organised by the students not only does this demonstrate the leadership and critical thinking skills already instilled in the minds of these young ones, but also a show of the core values that the school stands for; respect, responsibility, passion, enthusiasm, adaptability, and team spirit.”
The visionary, Mr. Jacob Ajala, noted that such an initiative becomes necessary in schools particularly considering the challenges confronting the various sectors in the country.
“The idea is to give voice to new ideas that leverage technology for social impact,”he said.

The keynote speakers from India, Mr. Viqaruddin Surki of IBM, India, and Professor Sudeshna Chakraborty of Sharda University, respectively, provided the much required impetus to ignite invaluable insights in the contestants.
With much at stake in the battle for the ultimate promise, the teams immediately went to their breakout sections for the task at hand.
To ensure proper monitoring and objectivity, each team (both physical and virtual) was assigned a mentor in case of any challenges. For several hours, the teams were busy brainstorming and generating ideas on the problem areas under the watchful eyes of their mentors.
The programme also featured prototyping and storyboarding.
In the long run, after two rigorous days of intense brainstorming, the winners emerged. The team from Grace Schools emerged the overall best with a grand prize of hundred thousand N100,000, followed by the team from ST & T Schools with N50,000 and a team from the host school, Queensland Academy, came third position with cash prize of N25,000.
Mr. Ashutosh Srivastava from Amazon in his remarks, told his story of how a similar event was the beginning of his IT journey. The keynote speaker and Chief Executive Officer of Simplex Solution Limited, Mr. Femi Adeniyi, expressed his satisfaction with the participants and encouraged them to see themselves as winners irrespective of the outcome of the event.