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High School Coders Compete at GFS Quackathon

Thirty high school students tested their coding might at GFS' annual Quackathon earlier this month. The competition is open to students across the region and this year welcomed students from The Baldwin School and Friends Select in addition to those from GFS. 

The Quackathon (Quaker hackathon) featured a beginner and an advanced level this year. Students can work individually or on teams to brainstorm, draft and code an app or program to try and solve a large problem, explained Colin Pigeon, Middle and Upper School Computer Science Teacher. 

"They had several hours to work and are encouraged to spend time researching topics and improving their programming skills," said Pigeon. 

This year's winner in the beginner category, GFS 8th grader Justin Tao, developed a Python application to register and total street trash. The program allows users to enter the street they live on and the amount of trash that they produced that week. It will then total all the results and output the street that produces the most trash. 

The winning group for the advanced category, Claire Yu '26, Jordana Wilkes (The Baldwin School), and Panyan Yan '26 created a food redistribution website that lets users find local food banks to donate to. Their creation also allows users to find foods by type and even create recipes.  

Hackathons are intentionally intense, requiring participants to think fast and collaborate with others.  

"Think gladiators but with MacBooks," said Pigeon.