Hackathon tests teens’ critical thinking in an emergency

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A STEM program at the Independence Seaport Museum encouraged young people to use their critical thinking skills in a hypothetical emergency management situation.

Lauren Kott with Philadelphia’s Naval Supply Systems Command Weapons System Support, says they used to host a career fair at the Independence Seaport Museum. However, she says in an effort to make their event more interactive, they changed it this year to a “hackathon.”

“So the hackathon is a contingency planning logistics event,” Kott says.

Fifteen-year-old Aniyah Banks was tasked with coming up with a solution to “What would happen if the Delaware River flooded.”

“We try to get together, and put up a team to go through the water and get the trash out of the water, so the animals don’t get sick,” she said.

Maxine Gardner with NAVSUP WSS says the goal is to encourage teens and young adults to come up with solutions that involve science and technology.

She says one of the most important issues during a natural disaster is getting information out accurately and quickly.

“If you push out info and you’re not able to get the right locations, they’ll be in a position where they are not getting the help they need,” Gardner explained.

These young competitors presented their ideas to a panel of judges in an effort to win prizes.

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