VIP Newsletter 009


Sent on Friday, July 3, 2020, at 3:20 PM Eastern Time.

Hi everyone,

Fifteen days ago Hack Club launched the Summer of Making, a 2-month long, 1967-inspired collection of coding activities throughout the summer for high school students. Already, 1,639 project updates have been posted by students to

In the 1960s, Stewart Brand envisioned applying technology for art, music, and greater freedoms. Hack Club’s vision is also to be greater than just a home for technically-talented teenagers: Hack Club is about learning to do what you want in the world and how code can help you do it. That means creating spaces to develop people with a “hacker mindset”—curious, optimistic, relentless problem solvers.

Hack Club is opt-in and student-first (no teachers / no parents). And, when it works, we don’t just create good coders, we also help build good people. Check out Summer of Making; we hope it facilitates the most original, creative activities for high schoolers this summer.

“Whenever i open up the scrapbook site, i feel like i’m getting a big hug by all the other hack clubbers at once” —Austin, 17-year-old Hack Club leader, New York

This is our 9th VIP update, your 2-minute read on how we’re building Hack Club—sent to 80 recipients, including our major donors & friends. Thanks for this time together.

Each pin is a student who requested Hack Club Summer of Making stickers. The 6,375 students are from 46 US states and 127 countries.

Can you help build Hack Club? We’d appreciate any of the following:

  • Introduce us to someone from The Omidyar Group, which runs several foundations very aligned with Hack Club’s work. We’ve just begun conversations with them.
  • Can anyone introduce us to Paul Graham or Jessica Livingston? They’d be great allies for Hack Club.
  • Conversations help challenge our ideas, share our work, and build our donor network. Who could you introduce us to? Here’s a few terrific people we’ve connected with in the last month thanks to wonderful introductions: Patrick Collison of Stripe, Andrew Reed of Sequoia, Jon Cohn of IBM, Brian Douglas of Blacktocats, Debbie Sterling of GoldieBlox, Pooja Sankar of Piazza; and Jake Baskin of the Computer Science Teachers Association and more. Each conversation pushes us forward.

Hack Club thanks:

  • Prisma for donating $500
  • Chaleb Pommels, 15, a Hack Club student from Florida, who donated $35
  • We’ve started shipping the first batch of MacBook Airs donated by Tom & Theresa Preston-Werner.
  • Limor Fried, founder of Adafruit, for donating her time as Hack Club’s AMA guest speaker last week; upcoming guests include: Dylan Field, Nicky Case, and Alex Stamos!

Dina, Hack Club’s new intern, interviewing Limor Fried

Check out what Hack Clubbers are building!

Tate B. (Virginia) made, a distributed package registry for Deno, Caleb D. (New Hampshire) made hackclub-ship, a command-line utility to post a ship in our Slack, and alum Linus L. (UC Berkeley) topped HN with to make Reddit look like the NYT, Avni G. finished her first personal website, among dozens of others.

International media loves Hack Club

We’ve seen the Twitter battles between journalists and tech leaders this week… Nonetheless, good news keeps getting published about Hack Club. Check out some recent stories on us from India and France:

iProgrammer: Hack Club Summer of Making - Mentors Wanted; India Education Diary: GitHub Introduces Hack Club’s Summer of Making for Kids; Technuter: GitHub Introduces Hack Club’s Summer of Making for Kids; India Analytics Magazine: GitHub Introduces Six Week Summer Program For Teen Developers; DQchannels: GitHub Introduces Hack Club’s Summer of Making for Kids; India Analytics Magazine: 5 RESOURCES FOR KIDS TO LEARN CODING; France Programmez!: GitHub présente Summer of Making; Informatique News: Hack Club, un Summer of Making avec Github; Other mentions in The New Stack and iProgrammer’s weekly update

Below, you can take a deeper dive into Summer of Making. Have a great 4th of July weekend!

Thanks for our time together.

best, Zach

The ins-and-outs of Summer of Making:

  1. A Snapchat streaks-style system for coding called Scrapbook. Students post daily project updates in Slack which generates a personal portfolio they can add custom CSS to. * So far 249 students have posted 1,639 photo and video progress updates * See some student scrapbooks: Jess Ding, Caleb Denio, and Taylor Lee. (I’ve been posting daily video updatesas well.)
  2. $50,000 in free electronics for students working on hardware projects (thanks GitHub!) * 105,122 words in applications have been submitted so far (that’s 2 novels!), across 405 applications * 150 projects have been accepted from dozens of states and countries * We just started shipping hardware. In the past 2 days, hardware for 16 projects has been shipped.
  3. Weekly video call activities on the Hack Club Slack hosted by staff and the student community
  4. Special Summer of Making stickers for any students who want them * 6,375 students from 46 states and 127 countries have signed up to receive stickers so far

This is what a student scrapbook looks like:

Screenshot of a Scrapbook

—Christina Asquith & Lachlan Campbell co-authored this update.


Zach Latta
Founder, Hack Club | | Donate
@zachlatta / fb / web / github

(like in all Hack Club emails, we respect your privacy and don't track whether you open this email or click links in it. we only send this update to a small group of friends and supporters, if you'd prefer to not receive these, that's ok! click here)

View on GitHub