Welcome to the NASA Space Apps Challenge! We've noticed that many of you are new registrants this year, so we're providing this guide to help you prepare for one of the most awesome space science and frontier technology events the city of New York has EVER seen.
Space Apps NYC is no ordinary hackathon! First and foremost, please read our Code of Conduct to familiarize yourself with all of our policies - when you're at the hackathon registration table on site, we are going to ask you to sign a copy of it to acknowledge that you've read it, so look it over now.
You must hack on a project for the majority of the weekend. You should probably expect to spend around a minimum of 11 full hours over the course of the weekend working on a project. Everyone can contribute something, even if it's just working on the final presentation and demo!
If you have hackathon participants who aren't contributing enough on your team, please notify a hackathon organizer and we will try to sort it all out. If we notice or hear reports that hackathon participants aren't contributing enough to their team, we may proceed with actions as laid out in the Code of Conduct
Even though we are over-registered past our capacities, we still have dozens of people on our waitlists who want to participate in our Manhattan hackathon or bootcamp, and we'd like to give everyone who's up for the challenge a chance to do something amazing for the common good; if you cannot come, please unregister for our hackathon and/or bootcamp by selecting View Profile at the spaceappschallenge.org website and clicking the link marked "Remove My Registration". If you cannot attend the event on-site, or arrived after capacity was met, you can still participate on a New York team remotely. Alternatively, you can join a virtual team.
Arrive Early For Entry
ONLY 100 MAY ENTER - First Come, First Served
For the hackathon starting on Saturday October 20th, You may want to arrive at the hackathon location (Lower Eastside Girls Club) before 8:00 a.m. Yes, that is a very early time in the morning, but the early bird gets the space worm!
We only have capacity for 100 people at the hackathon, even though more than double that number have registered to attend. We will be counting everyone as they enter, and when we reach capacity, anyone else in line will have to register as a Virtual Participant and hack from another location - but anyone can still collaborate online with teams at our Manhattan site.
If you would like to be guaranteed entry, we are looking for volunteers to help us at the hackathon - volunteers will need to commit to a certain number of hours / shifts in order to qualify for entry into the event. For more info, contact us immediately at organizers @ spaceapps.nyc!
If you are coming from out of town for the event we HIGHLY recommend arriving at the hackathon location as early as possible to best insure your entry into the hackathon. For those of you travelling from out of town, we would even recommend getting a hotel room the night before in order to make sure you arrive on time.
More On The Bootcamp Workshops
NASA is pioneering ways to diversify the base of hackathon participants to include communities with an ever-greater variety of backgrounds and skills and increase participation from underrepresented groups. For two weeks starting on Tuesday, October 9th and ending on Wednesday, October 17th, we are hosting our Space Apps Data Bootcamp - an opportunity for individuals (especially under-represented ones) who have never participated in hackathons to get their feet wet learning skills and using resources that will help them to engage productively as project team members, as well as to gain a better understanding of how their existing skills and perspectives can be an asset to their project teams.
The boot camp is a free public event and space is very limited. If you already registered for the boot camp, you should have already received an email about it! Please check your inbox and spam filters to see if you got it.
Make Some Pre-hackathon Preparations
VERY IMPORTANT VENUE CONSIDERATIONS: If you are interested in hardware challenges, you should know that NO SOLDERING OR HOT GLUING IS ALLOWED AT OUR VENUES. If you bring your own equipment and electronic parts, you will only be able to do basic work and assemble parts into breadboards. You can bring pre-built, pre-soldered hardware to test and program, but our sites do not have available workshop or workbench facilities.
If you are interested in hacking on your challenge throughout Saturday night, we will be able to stay overnight at the Lower Eastside Girls Club venue!
Should you bring a laptop? Absolutely, yes! Everyone should bring a computer with them that they feel comfortable using. Even if you don't have any special software on it, bring it anyway; your team members and other mentors from top technology companies and educational institutions will be there to help you get set up with whatever you need, and teach you about some great tools to help you solve problems.
Here are some other tasks we recommend you all do today, right now, regardless of your skills or background:
Join our Meetup group- http://www.meetup.com/Space-Apps-NYC/
Follow @SpaceAppsNYC on Twitter - https://twitter.com/
Sign up for a Github account (everybody needs one!) - https://github.com/
Once you're comfortable with git and Github, if you have an Apple laptop, you can "git clone" the scripts at the link below which will load up your computer with all the software you would need to do web development; even if you aren't a developer and don't want to become one, you'll be able to learn some really cool tips and tricks that will help you get more out of your computer, and doing this will generally make your computer more awesome: https://github.com/18F/laptop
If you're already a developer (front end or back end) and have development software installed, update all of your development software RIGHT NOW. Save yourself a lot of wasted time and all the overheadof installing and updating a ton of stuff while you're trying to hack.
Check Out The 2018 Challenges Now
Take a look at this year's Challenges and see which you might be interested in working on: https://2018.spaceappschallenge.org/challenges
Don't feel intimidated! You will be part of a great team with a diverse set of skills and you will all tackle these problems together. Notice that each Challenge has hashtags, where a # precedes a word or phrase (like #JourneyToMars or #BeAnAstronaut). When you write a tweet on Twitter or post a photo on Instagram and use one of those hashtags, other people all over the world will know you're working on the same Challenge and you can collaborate and share ideas to make solutions together or independently. We also recommend the use of online video chat apps like Skype or Google Hangout to connect with people all over the world to get their help solving problems!
Oh, and if you are an avid user of social media, please feel free to start using the following hashtags: #NewSpaceCity #SpaceApps #SpaceAppsNYC or mention us @SpaceAppsNYC or the global event at @SpaceApps or @NASA