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Austin Peay State University computer science student Robyn Yates wins at Georgia Tech hackathon

Austin Peay State University (APSU)

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Robyn Yates is having one heck of a hacking season representing Austin Peay State University (APSU).

At the VolHacks hackathon in September at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she and her Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) teammates won several top honors, including for the “Pi-Mail” hack she and three other team members worked on.

Austin Peay State University senior Robyn Yates was part of a team that won two awards at VolHacks at the University of Tennessee and an individual award at HackGT at Georgia Tech.
Austin Peay State University senior Robyn Yates was part of a team that won two awards at VolHacks at the University of Tennessee and an individual award at HackGT at Georgia Tech.

And at the HackGT hackathon October 19th-21st at Georgia Tech, Yates won again, this time on a hack she worked on by herself.

She made a web-based game to help kids code, winning the Equity in Computing Prize from the Georgia Tech Constellations Center and honorable mention from Disney Tech.

She called the game “Heroes Code.”

“I wanted to create a simple game that encourages kids to learn valuable programming ideas while also having fun,” Yates said.

More than 1,000 students from 80 colleges and institutions attended HackGT, a 36-hour hackathon where participants worked around the clock to develop websites, apps and other high-tech innovations.

Yates, Heroes Code and Marvel

APSU student Robyn Yates’ “Heroes Code” is a web-based game that allows budding programmers play a simple game that uses Marvel characters to teach coding.
APSU student Robyn Yates’ “Heroes Code” is a web-based game that allows budding programmers play a simple game that uses Marvel characters to teach coding.

“Ever since I discovered coding, I fell in love with the amazing feeling and problem-solving I could do,” Yates, a senior studying computer science, said. “I want to introduce kids to this same feeling because it is truly my passion.

“Kids learning logic behind programming at a young age can really help them toward a great future.”

That was the inspiration behind Heroes Code, a game that allows players to access Marvel characters to play a game that teaches coding. The game uses simple commands that allow characters to move and attack the enemy.

To create the hack, Yates integrated Marvel API into HTML and Javascript. Marvel API is a tool that helps developers create websites using Marvel’s vault of comics.

Judges asked Yates about challenges she faced: “I have never done any web development or design work, so I really struggled to learn, but I ended up learning a lot and getting through most of it.”

APSU student Robyn Yates worked around the clock during the 36-hour HackGT.
APSU student Robyn Yates worked around the clock during the 36-hour HackGT.

Yates and other Austin Peay students competed in the Mid-Central USA Regional of the International Collegiate Programming Contest that was held November 3rd.

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