High school girl students from 12 states will take part in a National Green Hackathon to be held in Bengaluru from February 16th to 20th. The participants will collaboratively develop scientific solutions for environmental challenges their communities face on a day-to-day basis.Girl students during a STEM for Girls Program in BengaluruThe ‘Hack to the Future- the Green Edition’ hackathon will have about 65 students from government schools representing Karnataka, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Assam, Nagaland, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana.The Hackathon is designed to take students through the entire lifecycle of a project-from identifying the problem, establishing a problem statement, visualizing a solution, execution and feedback. This initiative by non-profit organization Quest Alliance is supported by partnerships with multinational companies such as IBM, Capgemini, Amazon, Kantar and Nissum.During the week-long residential programme, experts from STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) will mentor and guide the girls in developing their scientific solutions. The students will also be introduced to future technology like drones, 3D printers, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality, which they will attempt to use in their prototypes and products.Neha Parti, Director-Schools Programme, Quest Alliance, said, “By creating an experience of tinkering, the intention is to ensure that the young girls and boys see the potential of using technology for problem solving, and visualize themselves as future inventors and innovators. Climate change is going to rapidly affect the world, especially marginalized communities, in the coming years. We want young people – especially young girls – to develop a STEM mindset, so that they can contribute more productively to shaping the future.” Ms. Parti also added that the residential Hackathon also gives students an opportunity to engage with students from different states and cultures and experience diversity in action. It is a chance for them to also learn from each other, and bring forth the voices of their communities.Quest Alliance’s Schools Program helps create learning experiences that encourage adolescents to build critical 21st century skills, challenge gender norms, and explore career possibilities with a focus on STEM education. Students are encouraged to use coding as a medium of expression, and to become creators rather than consumers of technology.While many hackathons have been conducted by Quest Alliance at school levels in several states across the country, Hack to The Future – The Green Edition is the first national-level hackathon.Bhavana G, a class nine student from Government High School, Garudacharpalya in Bengaluru, said that she was quite excited to be a part of the Hackathon. “Currently in my society, garbage disposal is a huge challenge. Besides this, we have to travel a long distance to get water. I hope we can find solutions to these problems. I am also eager to learn about the other challenges that my peers face.”About Quest Alliance Quest Alliance is a not-for-profit trust that equips young people with 21st century skills by enabling self-learning. We design scalable solutions that enable educators to address critical gaps for quality education and skills training. We facilitate learning networks and collaboration to bring about systemic change fueled by research and innovation.Website: www.questalliance.net.