What’s our hackathon all about?
PlutoHacks is a 24 hour in-person event where hackers will take a trip through the different stages of growth- from beginner, to expert, and everything in between. We give you the tools to build something great and the space to learn, iterate and evolve your idea. Our event will bring together people of all different backgrounds to learn and grow their skills, collaborate and make something awesome.
We all start from somewhere. You might start out thinking you’re dwarf planet, but after this event, you’ll realize that you’re a whole other planet. We want you to learn something new, achieve something you’ve never done before, and make awesome ideas happen! We are here for the creators, thinkers, and doers of this world.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a "hackathon"?
A hackathon is a common event hosted by companies or schools where students come together to collaborate on a project. You can create a web project, prototype, mobile app, game, or even a hardware project. You can think of it as a coding marathon. Anything can be built. There are usually categories or “tracks” in a hackathon that can help you scope your project to a problem that needs to be solved.
Where and when is PlutoHacks?
Our hackathon will be happening from October 21 to October 22, 2022. This hackathon is open to all students in the United States, but in-person participation is required. Our opening ceremony, workshops, events, and closing ceremony will also be live on Zoom and recorded.
We will not be accepting any submissions from those not participating in person unless you are a Broward College satellite student. Our time zone is Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Is there a theme for this hackathon?
Every year we have different categories and challenges for the hackathon. You will find out about them during the opening ceremony. All of the challenges will be documented in our Devpost page, which will go live during the opening ceremony.
What are the categories/prizes?
All of the categories and prizes will be announced during the opening ceremony.
How can I become a sponsor?
If you are interested in sponsoring our event, please check out this page, and fill out the application at the bottom!
How much experience do I need?
You don’t need any experience to participate in our hackathon. We welcome students of all skill levels and academic backgrounds. We will have workshops prior to and during the hackathon as well as mentors available to provide help and guidance with your project.
All hackathon teams look different. You can be a programmer, a graphic expert, or even just someone with an idea!
How many hackers does PlutoHacks usually have?
Last year we had over 300 hackers during our virtual hackathon, so we can’t wait to see you and your project this year in person!
What do I need to bring?
We recommend bringing your own laptop. If you do not have your own device, you may use our limited supply of laptops. We highly recommend using your own device, that way you don’t need to wait to install any software. Since this is a 24 hour hackathon, we also suggest bringing toiletries, blankets, or whatever reasonable item you need to be comfortable here!
Will we get swag?
You will get a swag package when you check in. We will only be shipping the swag packages if you are a Broward College satellite student.
What about food?
We will be serving food throughout the event- free of cost! Our wonderful sponsors handle the expenses for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner!
How much does it cost?
Nothing. PlutoHacks is a free event for all those that wish to participate! Everything is funded by our sponsors.
How can I prepare for the hackathon?
We have created a hacker guide for all hackers. It will be available upon your registration acceptance.
Prior to the hackathon, we will also be having workshops on a variety of different topics that can help prepare you for the event. These workshops will be virtual and recorded.
What time do we start hacking?
You can visit our schedule here.
We will have an opening ceremony and closing ceremony, and there will be workshops and mini-events that will happen throughout the day.
Do I need to have a group?
You can either work solo or in a team. If you are working in a team, teams can have no more than four members. You can create or join teams prior to the hackathon, but we will also have a team formation session during the hackathon.
We do not force the creation of teams according to skill. We encourage you to make use of our #team-formation channel in our Discord server.
Who can attend PlutoHacks?
Our face-to-face event is eligible to all students (undergraduate and below) in the United States who attend in person. We are also admitting Broward College satellite students. You must currently be a student or have graduated within a year. If you are under 18, you will have to fill out a waiver form when you register.
Only registered hackers can attend—no guests are allowed.
Can I start later on in the hackathon?
Life happens— come when you can and join a team! It’s all about learning and enjoying the experience.
Where can I see past submissions?
Can I submit old projects?
No. All submissions must be original creations that were made during the timeframe of our event. You can not post any projects that were made prior to the hackathon. We do not allow cross submissions. We do check for this, so if you don’t follow these rules we will not consider your submission.
Can I use a boilerplate?
Yes. A boilerplate is essentially a starter project that can be generated from different libraries or frameworks. As long as your project doesn’t center around the boilerplate, you may use them. Use caution when using boilerplates, as judges can disqualify your project.
Who can I reach out to with questions?
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can reach out to an organizer on our Discord server by tagging @organizer.
How do I use Discord?
Since Discord is where we hold all communication, you should familiarize yourself with the platform. Visit this link to get a basic understanding of how Discord works!
This year’s hackathon theme is centered around Humanitarianism!
Best Overall – Humanitarian
A hackathon category dedicated to helping others. Your solution to humanitarian efforts can be scoped to something global or local. You can think big— such as finding a solution to solve hunger— or you can think small— such as a solution for your elderly neighbor’s daily tasks.
$200 / member
There are many people who struggle with everyday tasks because their disabilities prevent them to, and the world we live in is not very accessible to them. What can you create to help increase access to those with disabilities?
$100 / member
First Time Hack
This category is for beginner hackers. If this is your first hackathon, we encourage you to participate in this category! You can submit anything to this as long you or one member on your team is a first-time hacker.
$100 / member
Best “Useless” Hack
Have you ever come up with an idea that is fun, but not necessarily useful or convenient to anyone? Participate in creating the best “useless” hack! You can create something silly, create something for creation’s sake, or over-engineer something! Sometimes laughter is the best we can do for humanity!
$100 / member
Echo3D – Sponsor Challenge
$100 Amazon Gift card is awarded to the team with the best use of Echo3D. Use your imagination and come up with something creative!
$100 Amazon Gift card for the team
Microsoft – Sponsor Challenge
Use MRTK3 to build something you wish you would have learned in high school.
The winning team will be invited to an opportunity to showcase their work in December to a community of educators with Microsoft!
Opportunity to showcase work
Miami Dolphins – Sponsor Challenge
The accessibility factor of websites and applications is something that is commonly overlooked. Does your submission stand up to the WCAG accessibility standards?
Tickets to a Miami Dolphins game + swag
We will have workshops and events during the hackathon as well as prior to the hackathon! Our pre-hackathon workshops have passed, and you can take a look at the recordings on our 2022 highlights page.
Take a look at our schedule during the hackathon.
Friday, October 21
12:00 PM – Check-in + Lunch
1:00 PM - Opening Ceremony
During the opening ceremony, PlutoHacks will be officially introduced and the prizes and categories will be announced!
Below is a recording for the Opening Ceremony:
2:00 PM – Hacking Starts!
3 PM - 6 PM Events
6:00 PM – Dinner
7 PM - 12 AM Events
10:30 PM – Midnight-ish Pizza
Saturday, October 22
12 AM - 9 AM Events
7:30 AM – Breakfast
11:30 AM – Lunch
2:00 PM - Submission Deadline
2:30 PM – Judging Begins
3:30 PM – Deliberation Begins
4:30 PM – Closing Ceremony
All submissions must be original creations that were made during the timeframe of our event. You can not post any projects that were made prior to the hackathon. We do not allow cross submissions. We do check for this, so if you don’t follow these rules we will not consider your submission.
Our submission platform will happen through Devpost. We encourage you to create an account for the time being until we release our Devpost community for 2022.
You can use any technologies you would like to use for your project. There are no restrictions on the technologies, frameworks, or libraries you can use.
- GitHub link (if applicable)
- Demo video (no longer than 3 minutes)
- Devpost submission
After you submit your projects online, all the teams will gather and present their projects to judges. It will be similar to the format of a Science Fair, where you will present your project more than once to different judges that pass by.
Note: If you are a Broward College Satellite student, your submission process might be a little different. We will provide you with instructions as the days follow!
Events | 3 PM – 6 PM
Below are our events that are happening during the hackathon from 3 PM to 6 PM EST. There are workshops, panels, challenges, and other events of all sorts happening during this time.
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Agile Workshop | Room 130 + Virtual
Learn about Agile and how you can incorporate this project management mindset into your project!
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
XR/Unity Workshop | Room 130 + Virtual
Curious about the world of immersive technologies? Join this workshop to learn about extended reality and how you can contribute using the Unity engine!
Sponsor Fair | Main Hallway
Come here to network with our sponsors and partners!
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Digital Accessibility Workshop | Room 130 + Virtual
Learn how digital creators can make the web and other digital spaces better by understanding the impact accessibility can make on users.
Sponsor Fair | Main Hallway
Come here to network with our sponsors and partners!
Events | 7 PM – 12 AM
Below are our events that are happening during the hackathon from 7 PM to 12 AM EST. There are workshops, panels, challenges, and other events of all sorts happening during this time.
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Women in Tech Panel | Room 130 + Virtual
Join to hear about some of the lives and experiences of female professionals in the tech industry!
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
How to Use APIs | Room 130 + Virtual
Got a specific thing you want your app to do? There might be an API that can take care of that for you! Learn about how you can integrate APIs in your project!
11:00 PM – 12:00 AM
GitHub Refresher | Room 130 + Virtual
GitHub is the best tool for developers to collaborate on a project. In this workshop you’ll learn how it is used to speed up code reviews, merge code from different developers, and track version history!
Events | 12 AM – 9 AM
Below are our events that are happening during the hackathon from 12 AM to 9 AM EST. There are workshops, panels, challenges, and other events of all sorts happening during this time.
12:00 AM – 1:00 AM
● Midnight Karaoke | Room 130
2:00 AM – 3:00 AM
● Cup Stacking Challenge | Main Hallway
4:00 AM – 5:00 AM
● The Great Rock Challenge | Main Hallway
6:00 AM – 6:45 AM
● Oreo Challenge | Main Hallway
7:00 AM – 7:30 AM
Sunrise Yoga | Outside - Back Entrance
Spending too much time staring at the screen? Maybe now is the time to wind down, go outside and stretch your muscles with some good ole’ yoga.
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
How to Submit Your Project | Virtual
Join this session if you need help putting together your project submission! We will guide you from point A to point B on the submission process.