The Hackademia project that I involved in Autmun quarter changed how I see myself fitting into higher education, particularly in engineering. I learned a lot in the class and much of what I learned was self discovery. Through the open ended approach, I felt in charge of my own learning and found new areas of interests that I didn’t previously know about. (I also learned the value of some of the the skills and tools that I already had.) Hackademia and projects like it are necessary in higher education, if nothing else but to mix things up a little bit and get us to think a little more outside the box. I’m still working on projects and continuing the stuff I learned two quarters ago. Without this class, I don’t know if this would have happened or if I would have developed the confidence and self-awareness that I have now.
In the current project that I’m working on, we are designing the framework and tools for community health workers in South King County to raise awareness of diabetes prevention through digital video. Based on what I’ve learned in hackademia, I have repurposed these tools and documentation that we developed and adapted it to a local community-based organization’s afterschool program for middle school students. Hacking is a different way of repurposing curriculum to fit a particular context, designed to empower kids to use their creativity and develop technical skills while doing it.