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aql Holds Hackathon at Woodhouse Grove School

The Woodhouse Grove Hackathon


Over the past few years, aql has developed a proprietary end-to-end IoT solution, aql Core. This technology was developed to empower our customers and partners to develop smart city solutions that combine a series of integrations to support all types of IoT Sensors, including LoRaWAN, Bluetooth, and integrations over MQTT and HTTP.  This technology is integral to our recent IoT living labs with our partners to empower innovation as part of the UK government’s DCMS and DSIT schemes. Among these have been our work with the Eden Project, in which we set up a dedicated 5G network and used aql Core IoT technology to help deliver the message of climate change urgency, as well as our work with Mobile Access North Yorkshire and the AMRC 5G Factory of the Future, through which we’ve provided real-time environmental analysis for rural asset management and manufacturing respectively. 

As a part of our goal of enabling smart cities, empowering society, and supporting the community, we have taken this wealth of data and 5G and IoT experience and translated it into practical learning opportunities through a series of hackathons, showing young people the real-world application of this technology as well as its benefits to society. Our most recent hackathon, held in collaboration with Woodhouse Grove School, focused on Year 10 and 12 students.

The Woodhouse Grove hackathon provided us with two unique challenges: creating accessible, relatable tasks for a younger cohort, and secondly, evaluating the efficacy of our purpose-built AI in providing event support with minimal staff. Drawing from the experience we’ve gleaned from our previous hackathons, we restructured complex tasks that had been made for higher education students into simpler tasks that were more suited to the age of the school students.

Woodhouse Grove Students working on the hackathon

By the end of the hackathon, students had successfully employed JavaScript, JSON, and CSS, created virtual sensors, and developed data visualisations and decoders via the aql Core platform. Thanks to support from our AI and staff, students navigated challenges confidently, showcasing their growing expertise as the day went on. The AI, equipped with comprehensive knowledge from our development team, was able to provide context and assistance to students, enabling us to accommodate a larger audience and help all attendees learn the skills they needed to succeed on the day.

“Hosting the Hackathon was a great experience for all participants. Students were able to contribute to working in a dynamic team environment addressing computing problems. They developed problem decomposition, teamwork, technical communication and task delegation skills which were priceless, as these could not be as easily experienced in a standard class environment. Thanks to all the aql staff for their hard work developing the event.” – Daniel Higgins, Teacher of Mathematics and Computing, Woodhouse Grove School

Group photo of the hackathon’s attendees and aql staff


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