County Girls Who Code ‘hack away’ in competition at Akron Art Museum

Members of Girls Who Code Carroll County pose by a display for the University of Akron. The group participated in a “Hackathon” competition with the University of Akron Girls Who Code Club.

AKRON – The Girls Who Code Carroll County teamed up with the University of Akron Girls Who Code club to host a Code Hopper Challenge “Hackathon” recently at the Akron Art Museum.

AT&T sponsored and funded the challenge, including covering registration and transportation. The event included lunch, t-shirts, a guest speaker, activities, awards and more. Adriann Guy, IT administrator at Blue Technology in Cleveland, opened the event with an inspiring talk to the group of approximately 40 girls.

The Carroll County club, assisted by the Akron club, spearheaded and organized the event which was open to any girl in Northeast Ohio ages 11-18.

Attendees received a coding challenge with the theme “Welcome to the Akron Art Museum” at 11 a.m. Participants did not know what the challenge would be until that time. From there, they grabbed lunch and got to work brainstorming ideas for what they would build with their teammates. They programmed their submissions from start to finish in three hours.

“They were nervous, focused, and worked together, and had to work through issues,” explained Emily Harsh, organizational advisor along with Rich Hutchison. “Mentors from various organizations including HAkron were available to help troubleshoot and ask specific questions.”

After submitting their project for judging, participants toured the Akron Public Library’s TechZone – a fully loaded maker space. They learned to solder, building Solar Hoppers, solved puzzles in an Escape Room and crafted keychains using beads to represent their initials in binary.

Award winners from Girls Who Code Carroll County included:

  • Creativity and Design Award: The Magnificent Adventurous Developers (MAD) – Abby Shockey and Audrey Hutchinson for their submission “Drawing up Akron”;
  • Teamwork Award: Gigabyte Me – Haley McDonald and Kayla Murphy for their submission “Art Summary”;
  • Coding Award: Hard-working Talented Modern Ladies (HTML) – Grace Barnhart and Jessi Cramer for their submission “Welcome Website”;
  • Innovation and Solution Award: Pink Gazelles – Leah Brown and Meagan Rutledge for their submission “Welcome Rainbow”.

“I am so proud of these girls,” Harsh said. “And a huge shout-out to AT&T for fully sponsoring the day.”

Girls Who Code Carroll County plan to make the challenge an annual event.

Information can be found at

Girls Who Code was founded with a single mission: to close the gender gap in technology. For more information, visit

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