My First Hackathon!

Today, I went to my very first Hackathon, and I’ll admit, I wasn’t thinking it would be very interesting. It was very fun and definitely worth the time. The Hackathon was in one of Amazon’s Seattle offices and was called Alexa Code for the Community. Brenna Bunch, Melissa Chu, and other Amazon team members were super helpful and it was overall a great event.

I was on a team with three other great people, (Swapnil, Dana, and Carleen). We created a skill called STEM Party. Few would deny the educational importance of STEM. I believe Alexa can be a good friend and mentor to all kids and it can make a positive difference in their lives. I plan to complete and publish this skill in the coming weeks and hope that STEM Party can excite kids about learning.

We started building at about 9:30 AM and ended at 2:30 PM. Surprisingly, we were the only team finished at the end. We had all contributed to the team. I helped the team by debugging some of the issues we ran into, and my teammates helped with the backbone of the skill, guidance, and personalization. I felt proud to have created a working skill within a few hours, and I’m sure my teammates felt the same way.

Here is the user flow.

User: “Alexa, open stem party”
Alexa: “Welcome to STEM Party. It’s great that you want to learn more about Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math. What is your name?
User: “Aariv”
Alexa: “Hello Aariv. What level of difficulty would you like to play? Please say easy, medium, or hard.”
User: “Easy”
Alexa: “That’s great! Let me get a random subject for you.” (waiting music) “The subject you are playing is math. Here is your first question: What is 7 + 7?
User: “The answer is 14”
Alexa: “Correct!”
(repeat three times)
Alexa: “Thanks for playing!”

Here is all of us presenting our skill!

Written by

Aariv Modi

37   Posts

Aariv Modi is a blogger, programmer, Alexa skill developer, and AI enthusiast. He is in 9th grade at Round Rock High School and has created several Alexa skills and mobile apps. Aariv was recognized as the Voice/AI Pioneer of the Year by Project Voice in 2021 for his contributions to the conversational artificial intelligence industry. He is also the youngest AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder and AWS Certified Machine Learning professional. Aariv has contributed much of his learning with the Alexa and voice community through his blog and social media channels such as LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. During the COVID-19 lockdown, he taught hundreds of kids how to develop Alexa skills through webinars, camps, and posts on his website. He was the youngest presenter at several international voice and AI conferences, such as Project Voice 2020, VOICE Global 2020, and VOICE Summit 2020.
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