Students Hack the Flood at H2O Hackathon

Team from Delta College takes grand prize


Teams of students from across San Joaquin County competed in the Seventh Annual H2O Hackathon coding competition at the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) on Saturday, May 4, racing to design apps to help local communities respond to a flood. In a second category of competition, teams spent the day creating engaging multimedia to keep communities in flood-prone areas informed.

In all, more than 200 high school and college students and their coaches on 52 teams competed. Cash prizes totaling $18,500 were awarded to nine winning teams. The Aqua Ducks team from San Joaquin Delta College was awarded the grand prize: the $5,000 Cal Water Golden Spigot Award. Winners were selected by a panel of judges including water experts and coding professionals.

The H2O Hackathon is a community-supported event that taps into the technological, creative, problem-solving, and presentation 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 water conservation. No prior computer coding experience is necessary to compete.

This year’s theme was Hack the Flood. At 8 a.m., students learned the day's challenge, designed by H2O Hackathon partner and cofounder Restore the Delta to apply to a real-world issue impacting San Joaquin County. Teams had until 2 p.m. to complete their projects. For the coding competition, the challenge was to create an app to dispatch rapid rescue and emergency response services within a flooded community. For the multimedia competition, the challenge was to create a campaign to bring awareness of risks and resources to a flood-prone community.

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 Dr. Troy Brown said. "Not only are students preparing themselves for their own futures, but they are also focusing their passion and innovation on their community.”

For more information about the H2O Hackathon, go to


Competitors at the Seventh 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 both age groups. The Cal Water Golden Spigot Award winner was selected from all competition winners.


High School:       

First Place ($2,000): Team Marmot, Stockton Early College Academy (Stockton Unified School District)

Second Place ($1,500): Hydro Heuristics, Stockton Early College Academy (Stockton Unified School District)

Third Place ($1,000): SplashBros, Ripon High School (Ripon Unified School District)



First Place ($2,000): Mojo, University of the Pacific

Second Place ($1,500): Team New Wave, CodeStack Academy

Third Place ($1,000): Coconut Mall, University of the Pacific



*First Place ($2,000): Aqua Ducks, San Joaquin Delta College

Second Place ($1,500): Pacific Solar Car, University of the Pacific

Third Place ($1,000): Skibidi Squad, Stockton Early College Academy (Stockton Unified School District)


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


The H2O Hackathon is a community-supported event. This year’s sponsors include California Water Service (CalWater); University of the Pacific; Central Delta Water Agency; San Joaquin County; East Bay Municipal Utility District; the Port of Stockton; the San Joaquin Partnership; Stockton East Water District; SJC WorkNet; River Islands; the offices of Herum, Crabtree, and Suntag; and the cities of Manteca, Lathrop, Tracy, Stockton, and Lodi. The event is organized by the SJCOE’s CodeStack department in partnership with A.G. Spanos Companies, Restore the Delta, the City of Manteca, iHub San Joaquin, the San Joaquin Partnership, BOSS Business Systems, Café Coop, San Joaquin Delta College, CalWater, and Stockton Unified School District.

Posted: 5/7/2024