Huskie Hack 2017 - Hacking for Health & Wellness

The premier university and high school hackathon for students in metropolitan Chicago, northern Illinois, and the surrounding states is at Northern Illinois University.

Why hack health and wellness?

Northern Illinois University recognizes that future health and well-being of our region depends upon the focus and skill sets developed by our students of today and those of tomorrow. Integrated and collaborative interdisciplinary events such as Huskie Hack provide opportunities for peer to peer learning while addressing real problems from a 360-degree perspective.  

For 24 hours, student hackers and medical experts will explore solution finding to current and future challenges in health and wellness. At the end of the event, they will have the opportunity to present their solutions to regional judges and experts in healthcare innovation.



A Hackathon is an interactive activity or an “invention marathon”.  Anyone who has an interest in technology attends a hackathon to learn, build and share their creations over the course of a weekend in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. You don’t have to be a programmer and you certainly don’t have to be majoring in Computer Science. Hacks provide a venue to think out of the box, experiment with new technologies, ask questions, make mistakes, learn something new, and have fun.  

Do I have to be a programmer to participate? Or have computer coding skills?

The Huskie Hack is open to ALL majors and disciplines. A health and wellness Hackathon opens the door to those interested in the physical, mental, emotional and environmental aspects of health.  How does health or wellness impact a community?  What are the economic, political, sociocultural aspects of the health problem you are addressing?  This event is interdisciplinary.  Individuals with interest in health, big data, medicine, physical therapy, community development, social work, psychology, sociology,  biology, art, and engineering are all encouraged to attend. 

What if I am just a beginning programmer or don’t have any programming experience? Can I still be part of this event?

Yes. The Huskie Hack is not just about coding. It is about creating, utilizing skill sets you have as an artist, coder, maker, developer, project manager, historian, scientist, etc.  No expertise is required. While having a programming class or two will be helpful, it is not necessary. This event is about visualizing the idea, being enthusiastic about making it work, collaborating with the team and using the tools to help realize your repurposed, reimagined idea. Everyone will be learning, trying and doing. Graphic and artistic design, media, and team building skills will also be key to creating an awesome game. Want to play with wearable technology?  The Oculus Rift?  See a 3-D printer in action?  This is the time to experiment and have fun.

How much does it cost?

Unbelievably, it doesn’t cost you anything. Zilch. We will provide meals, drinks, and snacks for the entirety of the event. Registration is required. 

Why should I attend?

Meet and work with awesome people from around the region, build cool stuff to put on your portfolio and/or resume, network with tech firms, and enjoy free food, free swag, free fun! 

Can students from middle or high school attend?

Yes!  Please share the event with other students and teachers because we’ve found many offer extra credit for classes going as a group! If you are under 18, we do require your parent or guardian’s permission to attend and will contact you if you are accepted for more details. Download the parental consent form here.

 What else should I bring?

Bring your laptop, phone, chargers, and any other electronics you can’t live without. Feel free to bring a sleeping bag if you want to catch some zzz's, and, of course, your enthusiasm to address issues of health and wellness.  Remember, a valid student ID is required.

When should I show up and when should I leave?

Plan to arrive at the Hackathon Saturday morning, November 4, 2017, at 11:00 AM, when registration opens. Have that student ID and ticket handy. The event ends somewhere around 2:00 PM on Sunday, November 5th after the awards are distributed.

Where is the event held?  What are my transportation and parking options for the event?  

The event will be held at the center of NIU's camps in the Holmes Student Center.  Attendees are responsible for arranging their own transportation.   Parking on campus is free. 


All submissions must be uploaded to DEVPost by 6:00 AM on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Please note that there is often a delay in uploading, so plan to begin your upload 15-minutes prior to the deadline.  Loading at 5:59 AM may not allow your entry to process in a timely manner disqualifying you from the competition.  Planning for uploading issues is part of the learning process and competition.

Late submissions will NOT be reconsidered due to participant's lack of timing or issues in loading their project.  

Hackathon Sponsors


$1,135 in prizes

Amazon Web Services - Best Use of AWS

$250 Amazon Web Services Credit

My Own World

Canbor VR Goggles Virtual Reality Headset VR Glasses for 3D Video Movies Games for Apple iPhone, Samsung Sony HTC More Smartphones and Pictek 104 Keys Anti-ghosting Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

I Will Survive!

Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit

Best Domain Name from

Raspberry Pi & PiHut Essential Kit

Built Environment

LuxFit Premium Fitness Exercise Ball Chairs For Home And Office 2 Year Warranty! With 2000lbs Static Strength Ball Great Office Desk Chair, and Stability Ball Chair

Move it, Move it - Get Charged!

Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels and a Nekteck 14W Solar Charger with 2-Port USB Charger Build with High efficiency Solar Panel Cell for iPhone 6s / 6 / Plus, SE, iPad, Galaxy S6/S7/ Edge/ Plus, Nexus 5X/6P, any USB devices, and more

Datum Insights

Pebble Time Round 20mm Smartwatch for Apple/Android Devices

Public Private Input

Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8" HD Display

Head to Toe Technology for Today

Beanie Hat Cap with Stereo Headphone Headset Speaker Wireless Microphone and Crosspoint Waterproof WP Hi-Viz Crew Sock

Green Livin'

Vertibloom Living Wall Garden Starter Kit - Modular Indoor Vertical Planter System and Assortment of 12 Culinary Herb Seeds

Roll With It, Baby!

UE ROLL 2 Atmosphere Wireless Portable Bluetooth Speaker (Waterproof)

Northwestern Medicine Challenge

$50 Amazon Gift Card for each member of a 4-person team

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

Visit to register to participate or volunteer to assist.

From novice to expert, this hackathon is open to all students in middle and high school through college and university. Coders, designers, makers and most of all those interested in health and wellness, lab technology, patient care, community health or global health issues should attend.

Students under the age of 18 will need a signed parental permission form on file before checking in at the event.  Form can be accessed under the FAQ section of the Huskie Hack website at


Brian Dascher

Brian Dascher

David Frumkin

David Frumkin

Stephen Haliczer

Stephen Haliczer
Northern Illinois University

Brett Coryell

Brett Coryell
Northern Illinois University, CIO

John Winans

John Winans
Northern Illinois University

Nestor Osario

Nestor Osario
Northern Illinois University

Tracy Rogers-Tryba

Tracy Rogers-Tryba
Northern Illinois University

Amber Davis, RN

Amber Davis, RN
Northern Illinois University

Kaison Rush

Kaison Rush
Northern Illinois University

Marc Thorsen

Marc Thorsen
City of DeKalb, IT Director

Nicholas Karonis

Nicholas Karonis
Northern Illinois University

Judging Criteria

  • Challenge
    Team must have identified at least one technical challenge in their presentation, describing the challenge, how it was addressed, and what was learned.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

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