Winners of the Sixth Annual San Joaquin County H2O Hackathon

Team Tigres Del Sol from University of the Pacific wins the $5,000 Golden Spigot Award

Teams of students from across San Joaquin County competed in the Sixth Annual H2O Hackathon coding competition at the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) on Saturday, Nov. 5, racing to design apps to help communities reduce their water use as part of the year's "Hack the Drought" theme. And for the first time, the H2O Hackathon also included a multimedia competition, calling on teams to create an engaging social media campaign to promote water conservation.

In all, more than 150 middle school, high school, and college students and their coaches on 33 teams competed. Cash prizes totaling $13,500 were awarded to eight winning teams. Team Tigres Del Sol from University of the Pacific was awarded the grand prize: the $5,000 Cal Water Golden Spigot Award. Winners were selected by a panel of judges consisting of water experts and coding professionals.

The H2O Hackathon is a community-supported event that taps into the technological, creative, and problemsolving skills of local students to find solutions for the state's water issues. The focus changes each year, with previous issues ranging from dam safety to harmful algal blooms. No prior computer coding experience is necessary to compete.

At this year's Hack the Drought-themed event, students learned at 8 a.m. that the challenge was water conservation. The coding teams were asked to design an app to help reduce water used in outdoor landscaping at school (high school division) or citywide (college division). Middle school students competed in the high school division. The multimedia competition's challenge was to create a comprehensive social media campaign about water conservation.

At the end of the day, finalists took the stage at the SJCOE Wentworth Education Center to present their projects before learning who would win the Cal Water Golden Spigot Award and other prizes.

"Students taking part in the H2O Hackathon are learning computer coding, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and other skills that will help prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow," San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools Troy Brown said. "Not only are students preparing themselves for their own futures, but they are also focusing their passion and innovation on the future of California, which depends on water."

The H2O Hackathon is a community-supported event. This year’s sponsors include California Water Service (Cal Water); Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; A.G. Spanos Companies; San Joaquin County; Collins Electric; East Bay Municipal Utility District; the Port of Stockton; the San Joaquin Partnership; SJC WorkNet; Stockton East Water District; the cities of Manteca, Lathrop, Lodi and Stockton; and John Herrick, Esq. The event is organized by the SJCOE’s CodeStack department in partnership with iHub San Joaquin, A.G. Spanos Companies, Restore the Delta, the City of Manteca, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Delta Stewardship Council, the San Joaquin Partnership, BOSS Business Systems, Café Coop, San Joaquin Delta College, and Stockton Unified School District.




Competitors at the Sixth Annual H2O Hackathon could sign up as a team or as individuals, who were grouped into teams by organizers. Teams competed in high school and college divisions in the coding competition. The multimedia competition was open to all age groups. The Cal Water Golden Spigot Award winner was selected from all competition winners.



High School:        

First Place ($1,500): Eagle Fang, Ronald E. McNair High School, (Lodi Unified School District) 

Second Place ($1,000): Team Walter, Ronald E. McNair High School, (Lodi Unified School District)

Third Place ($500): Mu, Merrill F. West High School (Tracy Unified School District)



*First Place ($1,500): Tigres del Sol, University of the Pacific 

Second Place ($1,000): Unhandled Exception, University of the Pacific 

Third Place ($500): Top Coder, San Joaquin Delta College



First Place ($1,500): Fantastic Four, San Joaquin Delta College

Second Place ($1,000): Ya Ya Ya's, San Joaquin Delta College

* Selected to receive the Cal Water Golden Spigot Award ($5,000)

For more information about the H2O Hackathon, go to


About the San Joaquin County Office of Education: 

The 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 for a quality education. For more information, visit


About iHub San Joaquin:

The California Innovation Hub program was codified into law in 2013. Today, it is comprised of 10 regional Inclusive Innovation Hubs (iHub²), 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: 11/7/2022