Windy City Hacks

High schoolers: learn to code in 24 hours of free food, prizes, & fun.

June 22–23, 2019 @ Origami Risk, Chicago

A city of incredible potential faces a crisis of opportunity.We the students, in order to welcome our peers into the wonderful world of technology, are organizing Windy City Hacks.

Welcome to the “hackathon.”

Windy City Hacks is a 24-hour event where 200 programmers, artists, designers, & other high schoolers from across the Midwest will come to together to build apps & games. We’ll provide workshops, mentorship, free meals & drinks, and places to sleep. The next morning, judges will pick the best projects to demo and win prizes.

Building on years of building opportunity.

Our team has organized a combined 10+ events, including MAHacks, Hack Pennsylvania, and helped run Hack Chicago, Hack the Fog, & more, reaching 1,000+ students.

See one of our previous events

A place for everyone.

Underrepresented students are systematically discouraged from pursuing tech. Windy City Hacks provides a supportive community for women, minorities, & LGBTQ+ students, and gives them the resources to make amazing things. No matter who you are, you’re welcome here—and you’ll surprise yourself by what you can accomplish. 💙


How much does it cost?

Nothing! Registration and attendance are 100% free, with meals, drinks, swag, & workshops included.

Who can participate?

Any current student grades 8–12. If you’re under/over that age, send us a chat message (in the bottom right corner) & we’ll see what we can do.

Hacking‽ Is that safe?

Hold up! No, we’re not “hacking” servers or databases. The word is being constructively re-defined as building things—apps, games, websites, etc. At Windy City Hacks, it’s all safe, supervised, & entirely educational.

What can I make?

Anything! A website, app, game, hardware hack, you name it. Judges will rate projects on creativity, technical skill demonstrated, polish, and utility.

What if I’m new to coding?

At Windy City Hacks, complete beginners are not only welcome, but expected! Learn as you go with our intro workshops & mentors.

What if I can already code?

Windy City Hacks is for you, too! We welcome (and have prizes for) absolute beginners, experts, & everyone in between.

Do I need a team?

Nope! You’ll have an opportunity to meet fellow hackers and make teams of up to 5—find some new friends, bring yours, or work alone.

What should I bring?

Plan to bring a student ID, computer (any kind), chargers, anything for your hack (e.g. hardware), toiletries, & a sleeping bag (if you plan on sleeping).

Where will I sleep?

We will provide quiet places to sleep at the event, and turn lights off after the midnight snack. We’ll make sure you’re able to get some sleep if you need it!

Who runs this? Is it supervised?

We’re independently-organized by high schoolers, sponsored via an international nonprofit called Hack Club. It’s fully supervised by 20+ adult mentors & chaperones.


Want to sponsor Windy City Hacks & help hundreds of students experience the magic of code? Let’s chat

8th LightOrigami RiskGitHubActiveCampaignServerCentralMake SchoolAgalmic VenturesHearkenOtusRepl.itRockstar CodersNowPowShowpadSlackHack Club Bank

Additional support from

SketchMeeting TomorrowJellyvisionQuarter ZeroTileYouInkIttastytrade


Industry professionals will judge projects in our categories: 🏆

Best overallBest mobileBest beginnersBest teamworkBest designBest game
Abril Vela
Abril Velashe/her

CS4All coordinator @ Chicago Public Schools. Associate board member of We All Code.

Nate Kontny
Nate Kontnyhe/him

CTO @ Rockstar Coders, writer, and vlogger. Prev. CEO of Highrise, 2x Y Combinator alum.

Mig Reyes
Mig Reyeshe/him

Director of Product Design @ Sprout Social. Former President of AIGA Chicago. Prev. led design at Trunk Club, Basecamp, & Threadless.

Mica Alaniz
Mica Alanizshe/her

Engineer @ Democratic National Committee, speaker @ Write/Speak/Code, Girlcon, Latinas in Tech & more, mentor & teacher.

Kieran Delaney
Kieran Delaneyhe/him

Department Chair: Graphic Design / Interactive Media & VFX / Animation @ Flashpoint Chicago. Mentor & teacher.

Sean Kim
Sean Kimhe/him

Founder @ Chicago Hacks, Hack Chicago, & Code 211. VP of Kappa Pi Beta @ UIC. Hacker, creator, mentor.

Jake Albaugh
Jake Albaughhe/him

Director of Platform Strategy @ Vinyl Me, Please. Former Engineer @ CodePen. Tinkerer, hacker, & mentor.

Tatyana Shestopalova
Tatyana Shestopalovashe/her

Entrepreneur, mathematician & web developer. Technical Product Manager @ 4Degrees. Founder @

Zach Latta
Zach Lattahe/him

Founder of Hack Club. Thiel Fellow & Forbes 30 Under 30. Always building.


We’re a diverse group of high school students passionate about bringing new opportunities to Chicago. 🏙🌈

Matthew Stanciu

Matthew Stanciu


Lachlan Campbell

Lachlan Campbell


Ava Scherocman

Ava Scherocman


Theo Bleier

Theo Bleier


Joy Liu

Joy Liu


Michael Parekh

Michael Parekh


Amogh Chaubey

Amogh Chaubey