Students Win Hackathon

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Four Mission College students were recently awarded first place and $10,000 at the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Conference Hackathon in Kansas City.

Mission College students Eduardo Villa, Julio Morales, Anthony Mendez, Mark Ibarra along with MIT student Jose Soto teamed up over 36 hours to help Kansas City Firefighters. Over 6,000 engineering professionals, students and sponsors attended the Conference.

The students’ winning idea monitored firefighters’ health during and after an emergency. 

For example, according to 2017 research by the University of Edinburgh firefighters' core body temperature remained high three to four hours after exposure and harmful blood clots were more likely to form. Minor injury to the heart muscles also occurred. This all led to an increased risk of a heart attack, according to a BBC story. 

Mission College also sponsors a Fire Tech degree, so the technology could benefit their fellow classmates.

“Top professionals were astounded that (the winners) were community college students, and recognized the need to invest in educational opportunities for more of our students,” said MESA Director Edrina Rashidi, who accompanied the students to Kansas City. 

The next step for the students is to see if funding is available, finalize their idea and market their design.

Overall eight students from Mission College’s Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) and SHPE student programs attended the Hackathon.