Delta College’s Aqua Ducks are big winners at H2O Hackathon

A San Joaquin Delta College student squad called the Aqua Ducks emerged top prize winner May 4 at the end of a 10-hour coding and presentation competition focusing on state water issues.

The seventh annual H2O Hackathon drew more than 200 high school and college students and their coaches to the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) to compete for shares of cash prizes totaling $18,500 awarded to nine out of 52 school teams.

Under the theme “Hack the Flood,” coding teams built apps to help flooded communities dispatch rapid rescue and emergency response services. Multimedia teams created outreach campaigns using social media and other tools to keep communities in flood-prone areas informed of risks and resources.

The Aqua Ducks multimedia team won its division’s $2,000 top prize and a $5,000 Cal Water Golden Spigot award for overall excellence.

The Aqua Ducks four team members – Jessie Clark, Olivia Espetia, Jaylen Mosby and Nico Combs – had just finished taking pictures to commemorate their multimedia win when Adriana Brogger, Delta’s digital media advisor, let out a scream and called the students to the stage to collect their grand prize.

“I could tell that all the other teams really brought it, I could see that they did a great job,” Brogger said. “But I felt very confident. Our students spent a lot of time working, they really looked at all the details. But it was still a wonderful surprise.”

“Our professor was a huge help in the execution of this event, as well as our other Delta team,” Espetia said. “We had a lot of support.”

The best-dressed winners were Team Marmot from Stockton Early College Academy of the Stockton Unified School District. Samarth Gil, Sehaj Gil, E.J. dela Cruz and Michael Lin gave their presentation wearing suits and won the high school coding competition ($2,000).

“We came determined with a plan and we came confident,” Samarth Gil said. “We came prepared. We came in professional with professional attire and with a professional mindset.”

In the college coding competition, University of the Pacific’s team Mojo, consisting of Sumeet Khedakar and Dipti Prabhavale, won the $2,000 top prize.

Students first learned the competition’s theme, Hack the Flood, when their educational day began at 8 a.m. SJCOE’s Wentworth Education Center.

The challenge was designed by H2O Hackathon partner and co-founder Restore the Delta to apply to a real-world issue impacting San Joaquin County. Teams had six hours to complete their projects.

“(The students) don’t know what the hack will be. What they do know is […]

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