A city of incredible potential faces a crisis of opportunity.We the students, in order to welcome our peers into the wonderful world of technology, are organizing Windy City Hacks.
Windy City Hacks is a 24-hour event where 200 programmers, artists, designers, & other high schoolers from across the Midwest will come to together to build apps & games. We’ll provide workshops, mentorship, free meals & drinks, and places to sleep. The next morning, judges will pick the best projects to demo and win prizes.
Our team has organized a combined 10+ events, including MAHacks, Hack Pennsylvania, and helped run Hack Chicago, Hack the Fog, & more, reaching 1,000+ students.See one of our previous events
Underrepresented students are systematically discouraged from pursuing tech. Windy City Hacks provides a supportive community for women, minorities, & LGBTQ+ students, and gives them the resources to make amazing things. No matter who you are, you’re welcome here—and you’ll surprise yourself by what you can accomplish. 💙
Nothing! Registration and attendance are 100% free, with meals, drinks, swag, & workshops included.
Any current student grades 8–12. If you’re under/over that age, send us a chat message (in the bottom right corner) & we’ll see what we can do.
Hold up! No, we’re not “hacking” servers or databases. The word is being constructively re-defined as building things—apps, games, websites, etc. At Windy City Hacks, it’s all safe, supervised, & entirely educational.
Anything! A website, app, game, hardware hack, you name it. Judges will rate projects on creativity, technical skill demonstrated, polish, and utility.
At Windy City Hacks, complete beginners are not only welcome, but expected! Learn as you go with our intro workshops & mentors.
Windy City Hacks is for you, too! We welcome (and have prizes for) absolute beginners, experts, & everyone in between.
Nope! You’ll have an opportunity to meet fellow hackers and make teams of up to 5—find some new friends, bring yours, or work alone.
Plan to bring a student ID, computer (any kind), chargers, anything for your hack (e.g. hardware), toiletries, & a sleeping bag (if you plan on sleeping).
We will provide quiet places to sleep at the event, and turn lights off after the midnight snack. We’ll make sure you’re able to get some sleep if you need it!
We’re independently-organized by high schoolers, sponsored via an international nonprofit called Hack Club. It’s fully supervised by 20+ adult mentors & chaperones.
Want to sponsor Windy City Hacks & help hundreds of students experience the magic of code? Let’s chat
Industry professionals will judge projects in our categories: 🏆
CS4All coordinator at Chicago Public Schools. Associate board member of We All Code.
CTO @ Rockstar Coders, writer, and vlogger. Prev. CEO of Highrise, 2x Y Combinator alum.
Director of Product Design @ Sprout Social. Former President of AIGA Chicago. Prev. led design at Trunk Club, Basecamp, & Threadless.
…more coming soon!