“The International Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration focused on space exploration that takes place over 48-hours in cities around the world. The event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open-source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on Earth and life in space. This year it had 40 challenges and 25 in five themes: Earth Watch, Technology in Space, Human Spaceflight, Robotics and Asteroids. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with a number of government collaborators and 100+ local organizations.”
This year, the PERCCOM students Maria Victoria Palacin, Vlad Cristea, and Maike Schmidt went to Tampere, Finland, to take part in this global event. Together with three additional team members, they focused on the Climate and My Neighborhood challenge, the purpose of which was to work with provided data about temperature and precipitation in the US from 1950 until 2099 (projections based on past data).
The result is the phone application How To Die which raises people’s awareness about climate change in a playful manner. The app allows the user to search for a location in the US, to select a year (winter or summer), and to see what cause of death related to climate is most likely to happen at that time and place. However, with the result also comes a brief overview about the effects of climate change and what the user can do to fight it. (see the project page).
The national jury agreed with the usefulness and practicability of the app and awarded the team the first prize. They are now running in the global competition of NASA with Astronauts as Jury.
Victoria, Vlad, and Maike really enjoyed the hackathon and gladly gave up on sleep. The organizers of the event did a great job and provided help, snacks, space bowling, and energy drinks.