Space Apps Nairobi 2014

Posted By: Kenneth Kinyanjui On Thursday, 17 April 2014





Nairobi joined over 90 other cities globally in participating in the Space Apps Challenge this weekend (12th - 13th April) which saw 30 hackers converge at the +iHub to create solutions for both earth and space; the event having been organised by +GDG Nairobi, +GDG Kimathi University, #NairobiJS, and the +iHub.


The participants were all excited, energized and inspired coming into the hackathon, as most of them had never hacked at Space Apps Challenge before. This however did not deter them from creating amazing projects over the 2 days.


One great tinker once noted that the great thing about #programming is that it's a little world where you do whatever you want; you get to be the creator. And this is exactly what the attendees showed during the challenge; coming up with brilliant ideas, which they later created into tangible projects over the 48 hours, of course with some sugar boost and a little happy dance :-) when the 0s and 1s overflowed.


The 1st day started with a brief introduction to the challenge and what the expected outcome was, followed by an ideation session led by +Thomas Kioko and +Timothy Mwirabua which saw close to 10 projects proposed for the hack. The attendees would then team up for the project they preferred. This saw the attended merge into 3 teams which would hack over the night to actualize the 3 main projects which included;



  1. Asteroid Watchers (Spiral Camera) - a simulation that takes photos from 8 different angles to form a simultaneous 360 degree view. This, the team mentioned, can be used to provide a more detailed view of space objects.
  2. Space411 - A web application that aggregates all news from space such as astronaut experiences, new space discoveries, etc. and provides that on one platform with an aim to improve people's space knowledge levels.
  3. AstroQuize - An informational space-inspired game, that takes a Question-and-Answer approach on matters space.
The highlight of the event was definitely a Hangout On Air by +Mandla Maseko, the first ever black astronaut. This is one humble man, and his story on getting to reach beyond the stars (well, literally :-) in this case) is quite inspiring, and was definitely worth our while listening to him; with his talk resonating around providing more information out there about space, for the general public to get more and more informed.


Marking the end of the 2-day event was a pitching session where the 3 teams got to reveal what they have been working on. Team Spiral Camera took 1st place while AstroQuize followed to take 2nd place. That was definitely a weekend well spent, and we wish the teams best of luck in the global competition.


Much appreciation to our event mentor, +Arky r (@playingwithsid) from Mozilla and the presence +Sara-Jayne Terp (@bodaceacat) from Ushahidi, who helped the teams in their ideaition and development phase.



Get more photos for the event here!

Reblogged from  GDG Nairobi 
(Co-Organizer of SpaceAppsNairobi2014)
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