H2O Hackathon

Middle school, high school, and college students compete for cash prizes while learning to code


Teams and individuals still have time to register for the next H2O Hackathon, a unique event that taps into the technological and problem-solving skills of San Joaquin County students to help find solutions to the state's water issues. The Fifth Annual H2O Hackathon on April 17 will be virtual, with teams of students competing in middle school, high school, and college divisions. The team with the winning app from each division at the end of the daylong competition will walk away with a Cal Water Golden Spigot Award, which comes with a $5,000 cash prize for team members and coaches to share. The top-prize money is provided through the sponsorship of California Water Service. Cash prizes for second place ($1,000) and third place ($500) will also be awarded in each division. Learn more and register at Space is limited.

After the H2O Hackathon's water-related challenge is revealed the morning of April 17, competing teams will have the rest of the day to build an app to address the issue in the challenge. This year's challenge will have a focus on protecting the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.

No coding experience is necessary to compete. Competitors will build their apps using APP LAB from, a block-based coding platform which allows anyone to create a working app. Competitors will follow curriculum and a lesson plan developed by CodeStack, the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) software engineering department.

Competitors may sign up as a team of four students and one coach. Individuals who sign up will be assigned to a team. Teams and individuals must be from San Joaquin County. In the college division, individuals and teams must be students at San Joaquin Delta College, University of the Pacific, or CodeStack Academy.

The H2O Hackathon website also offers a toolkit that shows how to use the coding platform and includes other information to provide teachers and students all they need to know to compete.

The H2O Hackathon is supported financially by partners from educational agencies, municipalities, community organizations, and the business community.  These are California Water Service (CalWater), San Joaquin County, the Port of Stockton, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Collins Electric, Stockton East Water District, Grassland Fund, SJC WorkNet, and the cities of Stockton, Tracy, and Lathrop. The event is organized by SJCOE’S CodeStack department in partnership with iHub San Joaquin, A.G. Spanos Companies, the City of Manteca, the San Francisco Estuary Institute, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, Restore the Delta, the San Joaquin Partnership, BOSS Business Systems, Café Coop, University of the Pacific, San Joaquin Delta College, and the Stockton Unified School District. More information about the H2O Hackathon and the partner organizations sponsoring the event can be found at

The H2O Hackathon provides students an opportunity to implement real-world applications of the science, engineering, and other skills learned in school. The Hackathon focuses these skills on finding technological solutions to California water issues.  A panel of experts and community leaders will judge contestant entries. The keynote speaker will be Alethe Denis, a cyber security consultant and winner of a DEF CON Black Badge, the award given to event winners at DEF CON, a prominent hacker convention.

About the San Joaquin County Office of Education:

San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) provides educational leadership, resources, and services to support schools throughout the county. With its highly regarded programs, innovative staff, and community partnerships, SJCOE ensures that every student in San Joaquin County has the opportunity of a quality education. For more information, visit

About iHub San Joaquin:

The California Innovation Hub program was codified into law in 2013. It is comprised of 16 regional iHubs, including iHub San Joaquin. The mission of iHub San Joaquin is to help people grow ideas. It works to develop new partnerships, stimulate economic development, create new jobs, and nurture entrepreneurship and enterprises dedicated to innovative and emerging technologies. The iHub San Joaquin is dedicated to re-invigorating the region's economy as a center for sustainable technologies in three areas: healthcare, agribusiness, and sustainable construction technology.

Posted: 3/31/2021