October 10th-11th, 2020




Launchpad is a hackathon for local high school students hosted at RPI by coding&&community. Students will have the opportunity to work together to brainstorm, design, and code a project from scratch. We're excited to see your creativity unleashed!


When: October 10th - 11th

Where: Online

Who: Grades 8-12

Launchpad is open to coders of all skill levels. Mentors from RPI will be around to help brainstorm, give advice, and teach mini tech-talks about topics that might be useful to your project. At the end of the day, all teams are encouraged to present their work, with a chance to win some prizes!


Remember, you don't have to come both days.

October 10th

9:00 amIntro, Form Teams
9:30 amStart Hacking!
10:00 amWorkshop: Python in 60 minutes or less
11:30 amWorkshop: Basic Web Development
12:00 pmLunch break
1:00 pmWorkshop: Art with Computer Science
2:30 pmWorkshop: Version Control with Git
5:00 pmClosing

October 11th

9:00 amResume Hacking
09:30 amWorkshop: Web APIs
10:30 amWorkshop: Cryptography
12:00 pmLunch break
1:00 pmWorkshop: Pitching
2:00 pmGuest Speaker
3:00 pmProject Pitches, Judging
4:00 pmAwards Presentation, Wrap-up!

All workshops are optional. Balance them with work time!


Mark Little

Mark Little

Founder of RiseHigh

After a long career as a GE executive that included directing the GE Global Research Center (GRC), Mark Little founded Rise High with the goal of exposing students to a variety of STEM concepts in the real world.


Best Website

Show off your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills, and make a dazzling website!

Best Game

Whether its a platformer or a top down game, design and implement the best game possible.

Most Creative

Design and create the most innovative, thoughtful and unique solution to a real world problem.

Bootstrap Award

This award is given to a team that shows perseverence and learns new skills while tackling a difficult challenge.

Scavenger Hunt Challenge

New this year, we will have a collection of programming problems of varying difficulty. Teams or individuals can earn points by solving them. Whoever scores the most points will win the Scavenger Hunt Award.


Python in 60 minutes or less

Never programmed before? Start here! We'll get you started in a common introductory programming language used by professionals around the world. No outside software required!

Basic Web Dev

How does a website work? How do I make one? Find out at this workshop, which will show you the three pillars of web development: HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Art with CS

Code is often beautiful. Learn how to show your creative side with the Processing API, a toolkit designed for making beautiful visualizations programmatically.

Version Control with Git

Have you ever spent hours on a word doc only to forget to save it? We can't help with that, but Git can help you keep your code organized and understandable.

Web APIs

Want to find all the restaurants within a mile of your home? Google Maps can do it for you, with your own code! Learn how to get your programs communicating with the tools of the internet.


Take a peek at cybersecurity through the science of secret codes. Learn some historical ciphers, how to crack them, and ways computers keep your information safe.


So you've made a project, how do you get other people excited about it? This workshop will get you ready to show your project off for judging.


How much coding do I need to know?

Launchpad is open to students of all skill levels. For less experienced students, mentors from RPI will be available to guide you along. We will also be providing starter code for some simple projects in web development and game design.

How will teams work? How will we plan a project?

We will form teams at the beginning of the day. Don't worry if you don't know anyone else, we'll make sure you make your way into a great team! We will have brainstorming sessions at the beginning of the day to help your team design a project.

Do I need to attend for the entire weekend?

You can attend the event for the entire weekend or either day. To be considered for prizes you must be present Sunday afternoon for judging.

Do I need to have my own computer?

The event will be online, so hackers will have to provide their own computers.

Do I need to have any software installed?

The software you will need depends on the project your team decides to build. We recommend installing Python as well as a basic code editor such as Sublime or Atom. Also feel free to check out StartHacking.org.

Does Launchpad cost money?

Not at all!

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