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FRHSD Students Participate in Fourth Annual HackFRee Event

On Saturday, January 18th, more than 230 students from across the Freehold Regional High School District tested their computer programming skills at the district’s fourth annual Hackathon held at Manalapan High School. The district’s event, HackFRee, is a 24-hour hackathon where teams of students work towards creating a project using programming or electronics. Hackathons are an interactive way to increase a student’s coding knowledge. This fantastic event came to fruition thanks to a partnership with Major League Hacking and Dell/Windows. Sponsors of the hackathon included Commvault, iCIMS, Freehold Regional Education Association, Royal T Apparel, OceanFirst Bank, Major League Hacking, and Manalapan Soccer Club. More than 100 teachers, community members, and alumni volunteered their time to make HackFRee a success.

For 24-hours, students followed a schedule that included workshops and hands-on demonstrations. At the end of the event, the students turned in their completed projects for judging. This year’s winners were:

Ryan Puharic, Tarun Prakash, Myles Wang – Created an app that can browse the internet using SMS, allowing for web browsing without cellular data and/or Wi-Fi.

Drew Isaacson, Bill Xu, Harry Allex, Josh Finkelstein - Individuals who have their computers stolen while they are still logged on face huge risks of personal info and data theft. The group created an app that makes people's lives safer and easier by giving them the ability to shut off their machine at their fingertips. When a user realizes somebody stole their computer while it was unlocked, they can just shut it off remotely and the thief is locked out behind a password.

Omkaar Mahadevan, Daniel Zaslavsky, Tribhuvan Lanka, Gowresh Kishore – Created an application that assists visually impaired people in learning about, understanding, and utilizing principles of computer science and coding. 

Jiebin Liang and Justin Nguyen – Created a program that analyzes social media posts and the language used in posts where the well-being and/or welfare of an individual could be in question. The program takes into account the word choice and attempts to predict or inference the poster's mood and mental state. Ultimately, this would enable some social media users the opportunity to more easily obtain support for mental health concerns. 

Yasha Rachakonda, Somrishi Banerjee, Dylan Roy, Xiang Meng, Brandon Bachleda – Created an application that is a simple, but elegant and efficient product that tracks the school bus passing different stops. The driver presses each checkbox once the bus passes that stop. That message is then relayed to the student. The student knows when to go to the bus stop when the bus has just passed the previous stop. This would allow the student to know that he/she would come to the bus on time, yet also not have to wait for a very long time for it.

Abhinav Bhatnagar, Jonathan Campbell, Shivam Patel – The project is an Internet of Things door system for those who have movement restrictions. It allows a person to open or close a door via local or hands-free remote instruction. It utilizes Google Home to control the door openers and is even equipped with a "Do Not Disturb" function.

Ryan Rishi, Ethan Lee, Austin Olmedo, William Tobias – This group created a program to assist their parents with schedule issues. Their parents constantly have schedule issues and, often, there are two events that conflict with each other. Because their parents do not have assistants and do not always realize when they are double-booked, the group decided to create a schedule checker that will check for double-bookings and alert them through e-mail notifications.

Adam Buchalter, Tyler Amalfa, Noah Lewis, Michael Borowinski - When playing laser tag, the user's vest activates a TENS (Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulator) unit when a player is tagged. The TENS unit connects to the user's abdomen and stimulates the abdomen muscles to quickly and gently flex. This feels like being pushed. Overall the interactive gameplay coupled with the sensation of the TENS unit creates a more immersive, fun experience for the players.

Sydney Dizon, Sam Meyer, Gavin Wheeler, Michael Pulig – The group was inspired by the sheer will to make a difference in the world, and something as simple as an app to help recycling can affect everyone in their everyday lives and hopefully make a widespread impact on our Earth's future. This app is designed to aid in the correct disposal of materials, as 91% of recyclable plastics sit in landfills, taking about 1,000 years or more to decompose.