[FRC Blog] Building Something During Offseason? Check out the Hack Club Arcade!

Posted on the FRC Blog, 06-21-2024:

Building Something During Offseason? Check out the Hack Club Arcade!

by Guest Blogger • June 21, 2024

Hack Club Arcade: This summer is yours for the making.

While the FIRST ® season might be over, there’s plenty to do in the off-season! To encourage learning and developing new skills, FIRST is collaborating with Hack Club to launch the Hack Club Arcade, an event where you earn prizes by building projects.

Hack Club is a nonprofit that wants to make programming fun for teenagers all around the globe.

In addition to FIRST and Hack Club stickers for participating, participants can get prizes such as Bambu 3D printers, Flipper Zeroes, breadboards, MacBooks, Logitech keyboards, Framework laptops, soldering irons, boba :bubble_tea:… all the stuff any aspiring teenage maker needs to make more stuff. When you keep shipping, we keep shipping!

Here’s how it works:

  • Join the Hack Club Slack — a community where you can talk with other tech-minded teens.
  • Work on Projects — every hour you log earns you 1 ticket.
  • Get Cool Stuff — exchange your tickets for prizes.

Any student age 18 or under is eligible to participate and earn prizes, though Arcade is targeted for ages 13-18.

“I encourage everyone on an FRC [FIRST® Robotics Competition] or FTC [FIRST ® Tech Challenge] team to participate in Arcade this summer. I’m programming a raytracer for my TI-Nspire calculator while accumulating hours to earn tickets for prizes [see video clip below]. Go team 2826!”

—Brody, age 14, Wisconsin, a FIRST Robotics Competition participant

Any tech project counts at the Arcade - hardware or software! It doesn’t even have to be team-related, it could just be something you want to do on your own. But if you’re not sure where to start, we have a bunch of ready-made projects. Each comes with a handy guide, plus a unique additional prize! Here are just a few:

  • Sprig — Build a video game, get a custom handheld console to run it
  • OnBoard — Design a circuit board, get $100 to manufacture it
  • Blot — Make art with code, get an open-source plotter robot to draw it

Teenagers can get started with Arcade and earn their first ticket at Arcade – Hack Club.

The Arcade is open until August 31, 2024, and available worldwide. Happy hacking!

Written by Hack Club

12 Likes

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But seriously, this looks like a really cool opportunity for students. FIRST’s partnership with Hack Club in general is something I wish I had access to as a student as a way to get into more hardware-based personal projects.

18 Likes

You forgot to slip em the $20… /s

No love for graduating seniors :sob:

Hack Club founder here. Graduating seniors are actually eligible for Arcade!

The full age requirements are:

  • Age 18 or under anywhere in the world
  • USA / Canada only - Graduating high school seniors until August 31st
8 Likes

Wow thank you! I 100% plan to participate now

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How is this real??? it seems too good to be true, are we sure it’s not a scam???

It’s not a scam.

Hack Club parent Hack Foundation was founded by a FIRST alum, the organizations have complementary aims, and one or both of them has budget to pull this off? :person_shrugging:

4 Likes

And just to add a little bit more color - Arcade is ran in partnership with GitHub, and they are funding the prize pool for participants.

It’s part of a summer-long takeover of GitHub.com for high schoolers from Hack Club. If you’re a high schooler on GitHub and have the Student Developer Pack, you should have gotten an announcement about it last Monday.

There are also a number of other partners that are helping or donating prizes, including Framework laptop, Flipper Zero, Adafruit, and more.

Anyone interested in donating prizes should email me at [email protected].

10 Likes

I had no idea you were a FRC alum! Cool to see you on CD.

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Is there a way to check if something is eligible? I have two potential projects that I’m not sure would count: repairing computers, and building a battlebot.

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I asked in the help channel and was told that anything that is a “publishable” and creative project counts. They also recently added that your project must be uploaded and made public on Git Hub to count. So, making a battle bot CAD and publishing it would count, but repairing computers would not.

2 Likes