Macon National Day of Civic Hacking: Community Service Through Technology #MacHack

Hack For Change

On May 31 – June 1, 2014, Middle Georgia citizens participated in the National Day of Civic Hacking(NDoCH), a fun weekend of community service using design, programming and technology.  In this national event, citizens across the nation explored challenges, created prototypes, and shared their solutions with their peers.

Special Thanks to our supporters and sponsors:

Special thanks to Stephen Finney for being our fearless leader and organizing this engaging community service event.

Education through rapid prototyping

I had the opportunity to work with a great team at the Macon NDoCH event to help propose a barter market concept to help revitalize a city economy.   The Mercer students from our group enjoyed the opportunity to rapidly engineer a software solution.    In an agile fashion, we constructed user stories from a functional specification by Brian Redondo .     Based on the stories, the team collectively drafted an entity relationship diagram on a white board talking through the design and making trade-off’s to keep the solution small.   I think we all enjoyed pair programming since it enabled us to pump out code while teaching/learning the tools and technology.    Our team from Mercer Engineering Research Center really enjoyed the  opportunity to learn collaboratively with the students.   It was a blast!

You can find our code at on my GitHub account:

Middle Georgia will have two MakerSpaces!!!

Jay Flesher, community  and economic development manager from Flint Energies, helped us kick-off the weekend with inspiration.   Mr. Flesher announced a vision and plans for MakerSpace/FabLab in Warner Robins, GA called “Crowd source innovations.”  Check out this article for more details.    I’m really excited about this announcement since it would help build the Maker community in our city, provide a place for innovation/experimentation, and provide a place for STEM+Art outreach .   As you may know.. I’m a big fan of project based learning and Maker Education .  Check out CSI’s Linked-In community here.

Nadia Osman, director of the College Hill Alliance in Macon, announced a vision and movement in Macon, Georgia to build a community of Makers in Macon, Georgia.   This community is aggressively working to implement a Macon Makers Space.   Team members are invited to share their interest and insight at .

MakerSpaces are vital to our region in helping us diversity our economy, promote a culture of innovation, create jobs, and promoting “grass roots” learning experiences.   Interested?  Please join our regional Middle Georgia Makers group.  All makers of technology, crafters, and art are welcome!

Community Building

It was amazing to make new friends through the Macon NDoCH day.  I think the event has filled me with a spirit of hope.   We worked really hard this weekend in drafting our solutions in service to the community.   We, however, had a lot of fun together too.   The group collectively shared that we want to do these hackathons more frequently.   (once a quarter)    The team is starting to brainstorm our next event for September .    Got ideas for local challenges, please let us know!

Making a Safer World

I want to offer congratulations to the winning team from Middle Georgia State College of the Macon NDoCH day.   The team constructed a web application solution enabling citizens to report the location of fire hydrants and their operational status.   It was surprising to learn that this location data is not digitally common .   Their web application would enable Fire departments and citizens to report the location and status of fire hydrants.  The following shows “proof of concept” map that would be possible from their system.    Very cool concept for helping to keep our cities safe.

Learn more about the team and project on Twitter: @MrrDaVinci, @jsmcmurran, and @kentwhite99  .

@MrrDaVinci:  A mockup of how the product will look when all is said and done










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