Jones Jam

The Computer Science Honors Society hosts the Jones Jam hackathon


On Friday, March 17, the Computer Science Honors Society (CSHS) will host the fourth annual Jones Jam Hackathon at Jones College Prep. 

“When we first started it was more of a traditional hackathon where there was a theme and you try to create a project by the end of the day,” said Cynthia Lilagan, Computer Science and Engineering Department Co-Chair. “Jones Jam has sort of transitioned from a Hackathon to a more workshop oriented event.”

The Computer Science Honor Society opens the floor to the multiple STEM clubs offered at Jones who can share their expertise. The participating clubs include Women in Stem, Girls Who Code, Robotics, and Cyber Security. 

“The [clubs] worked with us in terms of bringing their own volunteers and putting the word out for us,” said Zenaida Mariscal, CSHS social media manager.

Computer science continues to evolve, and Jones Jam invites young people to attend. 

“There is a big push for collaboration and communication and working together, some of these more 21st century skills,” said Lilagan. 

The participating clubs anticipate a larger if not similar turnout. 

“I think last year we had about 40 total participants, and this year there seem to be people from different schools coming, so I am not sure if that number will be about the same or a little higher,” said Mariscal.  

The Jones Jam is open to all CPS high school students who may want to attend.

“I think it’s more important for other schools to join because Jones offers [computer science]  classes. We currently have three while a lot of other CPS schools only have one,” said Marsical.

Many other CPS schools do not have as many computer science opportunities as Jones. The Jones Jam hopes to teach more students about computer science.

“I know a teacher that has emailed us saying their school doesn’t have as many [computer science]  opportunities as us. By inviting their students, it is opening new doors for them,” said Eduardo Velasco, co-president of CSHS. 

In addition to the clubs, the event plans to host a few guest speakers who work in the computer science field. Some of the speakers have connections to the school. 

“One of our guest speakers is a former alumni of Jones. They now work at IIT with a company called We Can Code,” said Mariscal. “They will give highschoolers an idea of what it is like to work in the industry.”

The Jones Jam first began four years ago with the creator of a STEM oriented student. 

“The Jones Jam is sort of a dream of the person who started Girls Who Code here. A student who pushed the whole school to aim towards computer science,” said Lilagan.

The Jones Jam is currently limited to CPS students only, but CSHS members hope to expand their audience. 

“It’s a bit of a reach, but I hope that they can one day invite students outside of CPS. It’s definitely something to work towards,” said Mariscal. 


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