Often times I hear people talking nostalgic about their youth years, looking back on their student life and the interesting things they did, and almost just as often I hear the same phrase over and over again: I wish I had the opportunities students today have.
Thankfully, student life in Chalmers provides plenty of opportunities that are waiting to be seized. Each of them is a potential door that can be opened towards an exciting new challenge in your field of study, a totally random hobby that will grow on you, or even a future career path you will follow passionately.
This past weekend one such opportunity came in the form of a prestigious international competition organized by NASA in locations all around the world, among which Gothenburg, Sweden. More specifically in the Science Park in Lindholmen Campus, home to some 330 companies, 10.000 industry professionals, but most importantly to some 10.000 teachers, researchers, and Chalmers students.
The International SpaceApps Challenge Gothenburg was a weekend-long event that brought together professionals and students from a variety of backgrounds, working together in teams on one of the challenges designed by NASA.
I was fortunate enough to join a team of passionate and open minded people that decided to find a solution to the Smart Cities, Smart Climate challenge. After a first very productive hour we already had a lot of ideas on how to approach the challenge and soon after we started sketching and further refining the main themes that emerged in our idea generation process. The Greener Cities solution the team adopted is a design that aims to compliment NASA satellite climate data with crowd-sourced micro-climate data; in effect, providing higher resolution information for monitoring the environment. The following 30 seconds pitch video does a great job of presenting the concept in a nutshell.
Needless to say, I found this 2-day hackathon to be an excellent opportunity to practice my interaction design skills, to be part of a meaningful project, and most importantly to work and network with interesting and passionate people. An excellent pastime investment I owe to Chalmers, the people in the project team, and the organizers who did a great job hosting this event.
Now, remember that door towards opportunity I was talking about? Here’s the only catch: it won’t open on its own, you need to do it. It’s easier and it can certainly be more fun than you can imagine.