VIP Newsletter 013


Sent on Friday, October 9, 2020, at 12:00 PM Eastern Time.

Hi everyone,

First, some news: Elon Musk’s team has arranged for SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell to join Hack Club November 12th for a private hour-long group call with students.

And, as millions of high school students struggle with chaotic openings and closures, Hack Club students are building more projects than ever. Just one example: this is a serverless Next.js app being built this week by Arkadiusz Cios, a 16-year-old Hack Clubber from Poland. See students' latest projects here.

Screenshot of serverless function code by a 16-year-old Hack Clubber

_Here’s your 2-minute read on how we’re building Hack Club—sent to 92 recipients, including our major donors and friends. Thanks for this time together. _

Our asks of you

  • Could you introduce us to Amy Klement of Imaginable Futures or Susan Sandler of Sandler Foundation?
  • Would you share input on our 3 year "vision" plan? (I can email you an internal draft)
  • Tweet out a Hack Club student project. We included two examples at the bottom.

Our thanks

  • To Elizabeth Danhakl Reed of the Danhakl Family Foundation and Andrew Reed of Sequoia Capital for their combined gift of $100,000 to Hack Club!
  • To Guillermo Rauch and Vercel for inviting Hack Club to be the exclusive student partner for Next.js Conf, set to be the largest online developer conference ever (with 55,000 signups and counting)
  • To Adafruit, one of the most meaningful electronics companies, for hosting Hack Club student projects on their YouTube channel (350k subscribers) with host John Park
  • To GitHub, our partner, for featuring Hack Club in their global student newsletter

This is what makes Hack Club special: we’re student-led, our students build real projects with real code, and they collaborate across schools and countries. We support teenagers from all backgrounds to connect with mentors and leaders from places like SpaceX, Vercel, Adafruit, GitHub, and more.

No curriculum, no teachers

Over the past decade, through White House initiatives, nonprofits, and corporate education programs, hundreds of millions has been poured into coding and computer science education in the US with little result. Like most programmers, Zach taught himself to code, and then created Hack Club in 2014 as a space for other teenagers to hang out, build, and learn together—anyone can join, from anywhere, for free. Now, thousands of students are on our Slack, making Hack Club the largest online community of teen coders in the world, and each month we build out new programs & activities for them.

This month, we’ve started the Workshop Bounty Program, where student leaders submit coding workshops from their clubs for $200. We’ve had 40+ submissions so far, and we have 3 new student-authored workshops live. Check out this CSS & JavaScript workshop on building a clock by Fayd S (15, Navi Mumbai, India).

Since clubs are meeting online for COVID, we’re also gifting a Zoom Pro subscription to every Hack Club. In the last month, 6,785 students have been in Hack Club Zoom meetings for club meetings, social hangouts, coding help, and more.

What students are building

  • Sam P (15, Singapore) shipped State of Democracy, a website shedding light on the fragile state of democracy in the world. Built in Next.js with information pulled from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • Caleb D (17, New Hampshire) made Uno for Slack, a completely working virtual implementation of the card game Uno, built in Dart & HTML/CSS, entirely inside Slack.
  • Neel R (California) made Ensio, a creative alternative to Zoom built to be better for students and offices. New features include the ability to move across a 2D space, adjustable sound barriers, white board collaboration, and more.
  • Matt G and Caleb D (17, New Hampshire) made Awesome Hack Club, a collection of all the cool projects shipped by Hack Clubbers. Built in Go, any ship, Scrapbook, or project posted on the Slack can be automatically added and featured on Hack Club’s GitHub.

Student drawing on iPad Pro to thank Hack Club

We’ve continued distributing the iPad grants given by Guillermo Rauch & Mahmoud Abdelkadar this summer. This iPad Pro went to Eleeza A. (England), an avid artist in the Hack Club Slack.

Screenshot of Slack message announcing award
Congratulations to Obrey M. & Edwards P. (Zambia). They won an award in Canada for the humanoid service robot they built with a Hack Club Summer of Making hardware grant.

Thanks again for reading, and for supporting Hack Club, where we're supporting the next generation of young leaders to gain hard tech skills, make life-long friends, and adopt values of integrity, honesty, kindness, and curiosity.

best, Christina

P.S. This newsletter has moved from every two weeks to monthly.

Sample tweet: "Impressive what @hackclub students like @sam_poder are building while schools are not in session."

Lachlan Campbell and Zach Latta co-authored this update.


Christina Asquith
COO and board member, Hack Club | 6174173773

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