The second annual installment of Pearl Hacks last weekend saw over 600 college and high school women interested in technology come together to learn, build, and share ideas with each other. The aim of the hackathon was to create a welcoming environment for female hackers (especially first-timers) from all across the country to converge and learn more about tech!


Representing MLH at the event was Li & Jon, both of whose best moments from Pearl Hacks S2015 will feature in this blog post!

pusheenTitle reference if you didn’t already know about Pearl Hack’s awesome swag + Super shoutout to Maegan, mastermind behind Pearl Hacks!

Stand out hack

First place winner, HelpMe built an emergency notification system via an Android app integrated with the Pebble watch. It enables you to send a quick text message with your current location to an emergency contact when safety is compromised.


The team also hacked the Pebble accelerometer to detect free falling motion. With elderly people in mind, their app could for example, send quick notifications in the event of a trip or fall.

Saving lives with a good bit of Physics? We love it! See their ChallengePost submission HERE.

A dance battle wandered into a hackathon…

Context according to Li: Resident Swing Dance guru Ashley Qian was giving a dance tutorial on Friday night at 11pm. We had many participants (guys and gals) but they somehow changed the music and it became a dance battle! Our Dell rep Trey tried to join in by doing “the worm” and the girl tripped over him. We caught all that on video.

Well done Trey for tr(e)ying.

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This keynote speech by Dona Sarker…

“Where technology is headed, is not going to be led by the people that brought you the past 20 years of it, it will be led by the people in this room (Pearl Hacks). Every single one of you are makers; and because you are makers you are here today”

You need to watch this. Honestly. It’s awesome.

Dona Sarkar

Who is Dona Sarker? She’s an engineer manager at Microsoft, an author, and a fashion designer.

Another awesome hack (we couldn’t resist!)

SAME Pearl

SAME, the Sexual Assault eMpathy Emulator, tells the story of a sexual assault survivor. Don the SAME T-shirt, and you enter the survivors body. With each step through the frames of the story you tangibly experience the survivor’s flashback of the assault.

Winner of best design, the team behind SAME went on a mission to tackle the issue of sexual assault by creating a tool that allowed users to better empathize with victims.

See the video demo on their ChallengePost submission.

SAME Pearl 2

Pearl Hacks S2015 was an absolute blast and we would like to thank the all the organizers, sponsors, hackers, and everyone else in between for supporting women in Computer Science.

Be sure to check out all the awesome Pearl Hack S2015 submissions on ChallengePost (click here)

Official photos from the event are all up on our Facebook page HERE!

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