2018 Community Code Day – Arts and Culture

On May 26th and 27th, 2018, BrainSTEM Alliance partnered with Youth Computing and the Wood Buffalo Regional Innovation Network to host Fort McMurray’s first ever community hackathon and technology conference at Keyano College, called Community Code Day. The event was a huge success with over 100 participants, 8 hackathon teams, and over 12 hours of speakers and free workshop sessions open to the public. A highlight video from the event can be found on YouTube here: Community Code Day Highlight Video. Filmed and edited by Slone McGowan.


The event was jam-packed with an amazing line up of speakers.


Babs Weber – Technology and Community

Our first workshop was by Babs Weber from Fuse Social. She spoke on the topic of Technology and Community and focusing on user centered design and how we make technology more accessible for everyone in the community. The video of her presentation can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/youthcomputing3/videos/1721155001307985/


Wendy Muise – Technology and Entrepreneurship

The second speaker was Wendy Muise from Business Link Alberta. Wendy spoke on how to use technology to go from an idea to reality. She touched on some of her own career journey in technology start-ups. The video of her presentation can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/youthcomputing3/videos/1721264107963741/



Russell Thomas – Entrepreneurship in the Arts

Renowned artist, Russell Thomas, came to speak to the group on his journey into art entrepreneurship. He spoke about his personal successes and failures, tips for upcoming art entrepreneurs and how those lessons can be applied to almost any profession. And he did it all while live painting! The full video of Russell’s presentation can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/youthcomputing3/videos/1721357327954419/



Melanie Galea – Social Media Marketing

Real Estate Agent Melanie Galea presented on how she has used the technology and artistic creativity of Social Media Marketing to enhance her business and to launch Discover Fort McMurray. View her full video here: https://www.facebook.com/youthcomputing3/videos/1721410994615719/



Luay Eljamal – Technology and Culture

Luay Eljamal spoke about culture, what it is and how we are influenced by it. He posed the question of which came first “Technology or Culture” and discussed how technology can influence culture and vice versa. See his full video here: https://www.facebook.com/youthcomputing3/videos/1721500911273394/



D’Andre Wilson-Ihejirika – Pitch Presentations

President of BrainSTEM Alliance, gave a short workshop on tips for presenting your pitch. She spoke to the hackathon participants on how to showcase your problem-solving through the 5-Why analysis as well as how to complete a SWOT analysis. See her full presentation here: https://www.facebook.com/youthcomputing3/videos/1722188954537923/




We also had a number of hands-on coding workshops lead by the YouthComputing team.

Dhruv Patel – Python and Computer Vision

Co-Chair of Youth Computing, Dhruv Patel, lead a workshop to teach the public on how to use python programming for computer vision techniques and facial recognition. Some artistic techniques in Python were also shown, like the Turtle extension to make graphics using programming code. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pALKowJqwlQ


Dhvani Patel – Web Development

Co-Chair of Youth Computing, Dhvani Patel, taught coference participants how to build their own websites with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Dhvani gave the students some tips and tricks to make interactive websites and how to incorporate arts and creativity into web design. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf0Mq3sxhu8



Said El-Mejdani – Virtual Reality

Westwood high school Computer Science teach and mentor for the Youth Computing team, Said El-Mejdani, taught a workshop on Virtual Reality. See the workshop presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MCRCyUJb0A Students were also able to test out some of their virtual reality designs as well as play some VR games on the virtual reality system loaned to us thanks to sponsorship by Aim High Park.



Keynote Presentations

We had two amazing keynote speakers at the event, who spoke about real-life applications of technology in their jobs and in industry.

Scott Schellenberg – Autonomous Haul Systems

Scott Schellenberg from SMS Mining Equipment spoke on the self-driving mining trucks being implemented in the Oil Sands. He spoke on some of the technology behind making the trucks driverless as well as some of the challenges of implementing in the weather conditions of Northern Alberta. See the full video here: https://www.facebook.com/youthcomputing3/videos/1722294864527332/


Dan Giurescu – Blockchain Technology

Founder of TerraHub, Dan Giurescu, came from Calgary to speak to the community about the work he has done implementing blockchain technology and crytocurrency in many different industries and sectors. See the full video here:  https://www.facebook.com/youthcomputing3/videos/1722479191175566/




One of the biggest components of the event was the hackathon competition. Eight teams competed for prizes and gift cards to Aim High Park. The teams worked for a day and a half over the weekend to build some amazing technology products on the theme of Arts and Culture, with relevance to Community and Entrepreneurship, and applying the concepts learned in the workshops on Python, Web Development and Virtual Reality. They presented their work to a panel of judges, the community, the President of Keyano College and to Mayor Don Scott.


The teams are listed below with links to their presentations:

We had an amazing group of judges; our keynote speakers, Scott Schellenberg from SMS Mining and Dan Giurescu from TerraHub, as well as Babs Weber from Fuse Social, Nermin Zukic and Jean-Pierre De Villiers from Keyano College, and Lana Wang from Aim High Park.


After the judge deliberations, the winners were selected and prizes were awarded by Mayor Don Scott. See the award winners below:




The day was an amazing success! We could not have organized Fort McMurray’s first hackathon and technology conference without the support of our sponsors.

Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


Prize, Food and Media Sponsors



We look forward to seeing you next year at Community Code Day!

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