In school you typically learn new things, do projects about them, get marked, and nothing else comes out of it. It doesn’t turn into anything. All that work gets put into a binder or Dropbox folder you will one day forget about completely.

But during UofT Hacks, a hackathon held at the University of Toronto, more than 480 students from high schools, colleges, and universities across Ontario gathered from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 to flex their hacking skills – and to prove some of their ideas can become businesses in themselves, not just projects to be graded and then swiftly forgotten.

With student-focused hackathons, you can put real life and school skills to the test. Plus, you get to play with toys (aka technology) that you may not normally get to, like Intel Edison Boards, Grove Sensors, Thalmic Myo Armbands, Pebble, Sparkcore, Leap Motion, Arduino Boards, Breadboards, Oculus Rifts, and Square Devices.

Proving that ideas can change the world and be used for social benefits like dealing with dementia, promoting fitness and improving safety, here’s what you missed at #UofTHacks:

 

Things you only see in a sci-fi movie. In this case, a smart security robot:

 

Gamifying IRL things. Like turning your morning run into a Pac-Man adventure:   

 

Using wearables as an interactive way to help dementia patients and their caregivers:

 

Building the idea you’ve been daydreaming about, like using your smartphone to make perfect toast: 

 

Embracing your inner Da Vinci:  

 

A little old fashioned Tesla and Edison-esque rivalry: 

 

Throwing project framework and expectations out the window.  A student-run event for students = success: 

 

You can see all the hacks here on HackerLeague.org and all the winners listed on this recent post by the Toronto Star.

 

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