Toronto girls school hosts blockchain hackathon to inspire interest in STEM fields


What had been you doing at 16?

The previous couple of weeks have noticed youngsters throughout North The us make headlines as they proceed to talk out on social problems, and it’s grow to be abundantly transparent that the longer term is in excellent fingers.

Nearer to house, a blockchain hackathon hosted by way of Toronto’s The Bishop Strachan Faculty (BSS) on Mar. 27-29 showcased one of the vital implausible younger ability the town has to supply.

Whilst mainstream media and shoppers have handiest not too long ago grow to be acutely aware of blockchain and its doable use-cases, BSS scholars have already realized to code blockchain apps and observe them in actual international scenarios thank you to an extensive two-day direction placed on by way of an organization referred to as Blockchain Finding out Team (BLG).

“We needed to do one thing like this as a result of we knew this used to be an rising software that might be very disruptive to many industries. That makes it the most important technological ability that we expect our scholars will have to be informed as they pass directly to additional schooling and in the end the body of workers,” Mary Anne Van Acker, the varsity’s assistant head of innovation construction and generation, advised IT International Canada. “We heard about BLG and the way a hit they had been in educating scholars about blockchain in Australia, and after we discovered about their multidisciplinary, hands-on means, we determined to deliver them in.”

BLG facilitates complete blockchain coaching lessons with a powerful focal point on good contracts and decentralized utility construction for builders – and the organizations they belong to. Its undertaking to develop the choice of ladies builders within the international blockchain ecosystem has led it to additionally be offering its mixed theoretical and sensible basics coaching to high school scholars as smartly.

“The primary day is truly laying the root, so having a look at what blockchain is after which below the hood to look the way it works,” defined Adam Lemmon, the vp of generation and coaching at BLG. “We use the Ethereum platform as it’s one of the crucial complex, open-source blockchains and now not vendor-driven, so we pass extensive with that and conclude the day with some good contract examples. Then the second one day is set going via use-cases for blockchain and development a decentralized utility to engage with the good contracts from day one.”

After the hands-on coaching consultation exploring blockchain programming, 17 scholars on the all-girls college cut up into 3 teams to every create and ship blockchain-enabled apps over the process the three-day hackathon. The ladies had been hand-picked in keeping with their abilities in coding/programming, trade, and design.

“Now we have entrepreneurial trade scholars, we’ve scholars in laptop science and coding, we’ve others who’re robust in math and analytics. Then we additionally incorporated scholars with robust virtual media and consumer interface reviews, and in addition ones with a powerful interest for social innovation. The mix of all their strengths used to be implausible,” Van Acker added.

The information

On the request of BSS, IT International Canada isn’t figuring out any scholars on this article. However listed here are one of the vital blockchain answers those younger ladies dropped at the desk.

The primary workforce centered at the pharmaceutical trade, the use of blockchain to increase a closed ledger app between docs, sufferers, and pharmacists to unravel the failings in Canada’s present prescription device. The theory for what they dubbed “Prescriptchain” happened when one of the crucial scholars used to be finding out the rising opioid disaster and its devastating results in Canada.

The app hopes to scale back the choice of solid prescription slips, overfilled prescriptions, and situations of medicine misuse, which steadily result in drug overdoses, by way of taking away all human components. On one finish, a physician will log into their account after seeing a affected person and fill in a prescription shape on-line. They are going to create a one-time protected password with the affected person, which is able to want to be verified by way of the pharmacist when the prescription is being crammed earlier than any medicine is distributed. The pharmacist will then shut the transaction so the prescription can’t be crammed anyplace else.

The scholars mentioned that as a result of this procedure makes use of a clear, protected blockchain, all knowledge is secure and visual right through the prescription-filling procedure. It handiest works when the 3 events come in combination, and in addition provides a comfort issue, for the reason that this may increasingly get rid of the desire for paper prescription slips.

Within the wake of the Parkland, Florida highschool taking pictures in February, the second one workforce created a blockchain to raised control gun gross sales and get right of entry to to firearms. The app, titled SNUG (weapons spelled backwards), goals to near loopholes within the gun buying device whilst additionally streamlining the method.

There are two aspects to the app; one for gun dealers and the opposite for a potential buyer. The buyer interface is the place a person’s scientific historical past and legal file could be saved, which might be inputted and up to date by way of respective govt businesses. Dealers would now not be capable to see all this knowledge – which is the place blockchain comes into play – however handiest whether or not the person has been authorized or denied to possess a gun. The federal government would overview an individual’s historical past, together with the standing in their psychological well being, to make this choice as a way to cut back the choice of weapons within the fingers of volatile folks.

The ladies within the workforce defined how a lot the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Prime Faculty taking pictures affected them, and the way excited they’re to be finding out issues in class that might form the “actual international.” They have got hope that an app like this would save you long run tragedies.

The 3rd workforce tackled group wishes and tax greenbacks allocation by way of expanding the extent of interplay between the federal government and voters. They devised a blockchain app referred to as Allocatax that may permit belongings taxpayers to anonymously vote in a web-based survey on what municipal initiatives their tax cash would pass against so as to make govt spending extra clear. The federal government would put in combination an inventory of group wishes funded by way of taxpayer greenbacks, and people would have the danger to vote for or towards particular initiatives. After they finished vote casting, they’d get an opportunity to discover what concepts had been getting essentially the most share of the votes.

Blockchain generation would examine customers, examine their location in order that they’re seeing effects for his or her respective spaces, and prohibit them to at least one spherical of vote casting. It will additionally care for a voter’s privateness and anonymity in a protected method.

The scholars mentioned this is able to lend a hand put democracy again within the fingers of odd voters, and provides them a say in govt spending. They had been assured this app may well be used at any degree of presidency, whether or not it’s municipal like their preliminary instance, or provincial/territorial or federal.

Vivid perspectives of blockchain

Comments from all concerned events – the scholars, college control, and BLG – point out that this hackathon used to be a powerful luck.

“We had been blown away by way of those ladies and what they got here up with in any such brief period of time. We had been educating blockchain to a company workforce on the Toronto Inventory Trade the week earlier than, and whilst it’s onerous to check the scenarios, the wonderful thing about those scholars is the truth that they nonetheless have an untarnished, non-skeptical perspective at the international,” Chami Akmeemana, CEO of BLG, advised IT International Canada. “Their highbrow interest used to be refreshing, and they’ve no preconceived notions of blockchain; they had been simply there to be told and make one thing that might lend a hand the arena.”

After presenting their concepts to 3 BSS alumni “judges” who now paintings within the tech trade, the teams are actually deciding how they wish to continue with their concepts. A number of scholars have expressed pastime in beginning companies round their apps.

Van Acker raved in regards to the 3 teams’ shows, and discussed how inspiring it’s to now see the scholars interested by shifting ahead with their concepts.

“I used to be very inspired by way of their shows, their designs, and their working out of the generation after simply two brief days finding out the Ethereum platform. Their shows had been robust, articulate, and considerate, they usually did a excellent process answering questions from our pass judgement on’s panel,” she concludes. “They had been all so serious about the enjoy and them in need of to move forward with the apps is strictly what we would have liked to listen to. We’re going to proceed to have conversations with them about growing startups and provides them the entire give a boost to and assets they want to make one thing occur.”


Updated: April 10, 2018 — 2:04 pm
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