VIP Newsletter 017


Hi, It's Christina, COO of Hack Club.

One of the biggest challenges to improving CS education is the lack of trained teachers. This month, Hack Club engineer and alum Matthew, 19, took a step towards solving for that by rolling out Hack Club Meetings, where Hack Club leaders record their best meetings as a resource to train friends and other student leaders.

By and for students -- that's Hack Club.

Slack Post from Risha Slack post, above, from Risha Jhangiani, 16, Washington.

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. Happy spring!

Special thanks to:

  • Ron Conway for doubling his gift to Hack Club in 2021
  • Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, for a Clubhouse conversation on girls and coding
  • Kartik Talwar, Amjad Masad, Blake Lieberman, Gerry Ohstrom and Guillermo Rauch for taking time to talk with us, brainstorm ideas and make introductions

Activity Update: Looking back over the last 3 years, the number of weekly active teenagers on the Hack Club Slack roughly doubles each year, from 206 teenagers active each week in April 2019 to 743 teenagers last week.

We think this is because we're intensely focused on building a beautiful student experience, with increasing support from generous donors.

Hack Club March News:

We’re all about embracing the latest tech, and decentralized finance has been the talk of Hack Clubbers, with many teenagers buying crypto, building on top of Ethereum, minting their own tokens, and experimenting with practical applications.

Our newest hire, engineer Zach Fogg, has worked closely with Rishi, 16 from Ontario, who created a Hack Club-wide currency called Hack Notes in Typescript. It has a GraphQL API and Hack Clubbers are building bots that require Hack Notes payment to use them, awarding Hack Notes to friends, and creating whimsical games on top of it.

Also, meet Hack Club's AI Cow, built by Benjamin Ashbaugh, 16 from Colorado, after he got access to the OpenAI GPT-3 API. The Hack Club Cow roams around our online Slack community, where students have intelligent conversations with it, ask it to write Python, do advanced math, and push the limits of what GPT-3 is capable of.

Image of a conversation between AI Cow and Hack Clubbers on Slack

Above, a screenshot of just one of hundreds of interactions students have with the Ben's GPT-3 powered cow in our online community.

Spring updates:

  • More than 50 new Hack Club students have applied to start clubs; including in new places like rural Vermont and northern England.
  • At least 300 students have shipped projects in recent months, including developer tools, APIs, songs, frameworks and, custom-designed PCB boards including the Orpheus Leap, an Arduino-compatible board shaped like Orpheus, Hack Club's mascot. Designed by a 14-year-old who partnered with another Hack Clubber to find a manufacturer and ship 300 of them to fellow Hack Clubbers around the world.
  • Starlink arrived at Hack Club’s headquarters last month, and we live-streamed our installation for students
  • A Hack Club alumni’s company, Hightouch, hired its 13th employee
  • South African 10th grader Esperanza, 15, is the latest student to receive a need-based free iPad from Hack Club, 1 of 15 donated via Hack Club.

Check out just a few of the incredible student projects shipped at Hack Club

  • Lux, 17, of California, created Victus, a zero-dependency JavaScript game framework in 2.05 kilobytes of code, check it out:
  • Adison Lampert, wrote a workshop for her Hack Club, demonstrating how to use HTML, CSS and JavaScript to build a word cloud generator. Code on her GitHub.
  • Using a laptop donated via Hack Club, Sam, 15, Singapore, ran his school’s Innovation Week, a series of technology events that introduced hundreds of students to coding, robotics and more. Replit founder Amjad Masad tweeted about it.
  • Rishi, 16, Ontario, shipped a new marketplace for Hack Notes, the new virtual currency for Hack Club that he built. See Hack Notes on GitHub.
  • Ishan, 15, Dubai, shipped Devsat, which is a simple chat app directly in your terminal. Try it out by running $ ssh in your terminal.

Our thoughts are also turning to the post-pandemic future, and we’re preparing for a major opportunity for growth with a big summer program and the return to classrooms in September. Students are hungry for in-person collaboration, and we’ll be ready to help grow new clubs in more locations than ever.

We've received $550k in philanthropic gifts from 5 different donors since December. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for providing Hack Clubbers with the experiences we wish we had as teenagers.

warm regards, Christina, with Zach

-- Christina Asquith COO, Hack Club | | Donate @christinaasquit / web / github

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