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These students at Bob Jones High School are some of the participants in BJ MedHacks, which will have sessions on Nov. 12-13 and Nov. 19-20. CONTRIBUTED

BJ MedHacks calls students to explore, answer health concerns

MADISON – Students will merge their best ideas to find solutions to big problems with healthcare in the BJ MedHacks in November.

MedHacks is a ‘hackathon’ in which teams collaborate and pitch ideas using their teamwork, creativity, innovation and presentation skills to offer solutions to a given real-world healthcare problem. These teams present their creative ideas to a panel of judges.

BJ MedHacks is free and open to all high school students everywhere, founder Julia Nguyen said. Participants do not need a coding or computer science background.

Participants will have a chance to win an Amazon gift card for $125. Sessions are held on campus.

Nguyen founded the event in 2021, when she attended multiple hackathons. Her first one was “MERGE 2021.” “Because of COVID, this was a virtual hackathon, which has its ups and downs,” she said.

However, this cyber hackathon introduced Nguyen to people worldwide – even Indonesia. “I learned so much from workshops and the people.” She wanted to expedite lessons in coding and the medical world . . . “even inspire them to find their passion,” Nguyen said.

“During this event, you will get to learn and meet many professionals that work at Signalink, Intuitive and more,” Nguyen said.

Teams will decide on one of four categories to tackle:

* Pandemics — Find a solution to help overcome challenges and adversities that pandemics, viruses and diseases cause.

* Environment – Its significant role in one’s health. Hackers explore solutions to improve health conditions that the environment affects.

* Costs of healthcare – Find ways to help in lowering healthcare costs, especially for the underprivileged who face extremely costly and unaffordable services.

* Make your own – Discuss a healthcare problem that a student believes is relevant in today’s world. Hackers will discuss actions to either solve or improve that problem’s conditions.

BJ MedHacks will have two sessions, the Learn-a-Thon on Nov. 12-13 and the Hack-a-Thon on Nov. 19-20. People attending the events can enjoy food, prizes, T-shirts and more.

“For the Learn-a-Thon on Nov. 12-13, professionals from Signalink, Intuitive and more will host pre-event workshops to teach you how to deploy your own app, as well as entrepreneurship skills,” Nguyen said.

On Nov. 19-20, students will form teams and compete to come up with technological solutions to real-world healthcare problems using what they learned the previous week.

“This event is a great opportunity to display your talents and meet the leaders of our technological community,” Nguyen said.

Tickets are limited. Registration deadline is Nov. 10 at eventbrite.com/e/bj-medhacks-fall-2022-tickets-445579970687. For more information, including previous events, visit https://sites.google.com/view/bjmedhacks/home.

Sponsors are Adtran and Signalink.

For more information, call 562-453-6589, email bjmedhacks@gmail.com or visit hackathon.com/event/bj-medhacks-fall-2022-445579970687.

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