VIP Newsletter 021


Dear Hack Club friends,

Hack Club’s most ambitious summer project is mission complete. Now, the 42 Hack Club teenagers on The Hacker Zephyr are heading back into their schools this September more technical and more energized to run and be part of incredible Hack Clubs for their community. Read this feature article about how Hack Club teenagers coded 500 projects during an epic 10-day train adventure from our headquarters in Vermont to SpaceX in Los Angeles. Trip photos here.

Us at SpaceX A bunch of Hack Clubbers on a tour of SpaceX in Hawthorne, California.

Hack Club can become the new Girl and Boy Scouts for teenagers who love building with technology. We are in hundreds of US public high schools already, and we’re growing, thanks to you. Here’s your 2-minute read on how we’re doing it.

🙏 Special thanks to:

  • Elon Musk for a 30 minute video call last week with Zach and Christina to discuss a fun hacker project together

  • Gwynne Shotwell, COO of SpaceX, for arranging Hack Club's visit to SpaceX; and for the 6 SpaceX engineers who gave Hack Clubbers tours

  • Hack Club board member Quinn Slack (co-founder Sourcegraph) and supporter Adam Ross (co-founder Goldcrest Capital) for visiting Hack Club HQ in Vermont

  • Gavin Baker, managing partner for Atreides Management, for his first-time gift of $10k to Hack Club

An email of thanks from Hack Club parents

“Our sincere thanks to the Hack Club team and also to the generous donors like Tom Preston-Werner that made this possible and offered this experience free to all the kids. ....we appreciate all the vision, careful planning, good-will and thoughtfulness you brought to the trip. We know our son will never forget it!

Even before this trip, our son's enjoyment and appreciation for your club and online opportunities was obvious. He has always spoken to us with high regard, respect and appreciation for all you do and the quality, the creativity, the fun, and the integrity of this organization and its leaders.” -- With gratitude, Julie and Scott, parents of a Hack Clubber

Hack Clubbers on the Zephyr Day 7: Ella, Swarnya and Labdhi coding projects as The Hacker Zephyr train passes through Utah

👀 Looking ahead School starts in a few weeks; and we're busy supporting hundreds of teen leaders launch and run their own after-school Hack Clubs for thousands of teenagers. We’ve hired Leo McElroy, a programmer with a background in hackerspaces, to run our clubs program, and he is expecting a busy fall as the sole staffer overseeing clubs. He has nearly 170 technical workshops built by other Hack Clubbers for leaders to use in clubs, and HQ will be running live events, sending stickers and hardware, and creating exciting new projects to support Hack Clubbers, some of whom are now as young as 12.

Transparency is a core Hack Club value, and we are open-sourcing everything about the Zephyr—from finances on Hack Club Bank to the systemd services and code running on the ZephyrNET, our server on the train. All will be hosted on Hack Club Bank and GitHub. We encourage more nonprofits to publicly open-source their finances. And we were excited when the recent article I wrote with Zach in The Chronicle of Philanthropy—the largest nonprofit-focused publication in the United States—was chosen to be published as the lead op-ed in August's print edition.

Growth: We rented a 2nd office next to our HQ location in Vermont to house all of our new Bank operations, along with hiring a new operations associate for Bank, Olivia Cook-Churchill.

🚢 Ships by Hack Clubbers: Check out a few of the 500 projects Hack Clubbers built entirely on The Hacker Zephyr trip (and our infrastructure surrounding it, the ZephyrNET).

Claire Wang, 16, and Ben Aubin, 18, used JS and WebSockets to build a real-time type racing game, enabling hackers to test their typing speeds against each other without needing an internet connection. Type Racer

Ishan Goel, 16, from Dubai, built a search engine called Zoogle in Go, capable of searching thousands of files in just milliseconds, and sparked a 4 other “competing” search engines: “Roogle”, built in Rust by Kai Musk, 15, from California; and “Zing”, by Will Lane are two competitors that sparked up and built on top of Zoogle. Zoogle

Aiden Bai, 16, from Washington, built Fingers Up Camera Kapture - a joke tech project that takes a photo when it sees a middle finger. This was his first machine learning application onboard the train in Tensorflow.js— and it was a fun fan favourite all across the train!

Fingers up camera kapture

Matthew Gleich, 16, from New Hampshire, built his first project using Next.js, creating a mini-graph network of every person that Hack Clubbers met on the Zephyr.

graph network

The Zephyr also attracted some nifty gambling-focused projects! Abby Fischler, 14, of Los Angeles built a blackjack game in vanilla JS, and alongside Charelle Constantino, 16, who also built her own casino, which included HackJack, Sleep Memory, and various other mini-games!

Blackjack Blackjack on laptop screen, hand holding up dollar bills

Hack Club is possible because of amazing people like you. Thank you. Have a wonderful August!

Warm regards, Christina

-- Christina Asquith COO and board member, Hack Club

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