Hear how Team HACCamino used Meteor to develop ECOCamino, an app to organize local cleanups and claim the first prize at the 2021 Meteor Hackathon in this post now!

Meet with many others who want to also help with the community.

Think you could create an impactful, completely deployable app in six days with just five team members?

That’s the challenge we set for the 2021 Meteor Hackathon. And we received tons of stellar submissions from teams that more than exceeded our expectations.

After careful consideration, three teams emerged as our 2021 Meteor Hackathon winners:

1st Place: Team HACCamino (View Repo)2nd Place: Team Suaveware (View Repo)3rd Place: Team COKOA (View Repo)

So in this post, we’re kicking off our spotlights with a look at our first-place achievers: Team HACCamino.

They’re a startup hoping to help others learn what they can do environmentally and how to take action locally.

Team HACCamino’s mission perfectly embodied this year’s hackathon theme. Keep reading to discover how they used Meteor to claim the trophy and why their app impressed us so much.

CREATING IMPACT: The 2021 Meteor Hackathon Theme

This year, we asked teams of no more than five to develop an impactful application using Meteor Framework in any field of interest that sparked their curiosity.

We wanted helpful and meaningful ideas (for a cause, a non-profit, etc.). But we also hoped for realistic projects that could be usable and deployable on Galaxy by the end of the hackathon.

Meteor Hackathon 2021

Teams had the choice of building a product with a clear revenue stream, a non-profit, open-source, or anything in between. But all development had to occur during the six-day hackathon window.

One team’s app stood out from all the other thoughtful submissions we received.

Meet Team HACCamino: First Place Winners of the 2021 Meteor Hackathon!

Team HACCamino consists of five students from The University of Hawai’i at Manoa who are all majoring in Computer Science:

Anna CampainhaDaphne Marie EstacioJerome GallegoMichael GaineyTimothy Huo

These five bright stars first met in Dr. Carleton (Cam) Moore’s class, ICS 414: Software Engineering II, in Spring 2021. During that class, Jerome initially worked with a team called Shocking Development, while the other four worked with Hot-N-Code.

The latter members then decided to continue working together by registering for ICS 491: Special Topics, under Dr. Philip Johnson. Later on, the team decided to invite Jerome to their team, together forming HACCamino.

Though the team worked on Lumi-Camino, a web application designed to help individuals track daily COVID symptoms and vaccination status, that’s not the app that earned them the gold in our hackathon.

ECOCamino: The 2021 Meteor Hackathon Winning App

ECOCamino (also Eco-Camino and EcoCamino) is a web application designed to help communities team up, bring awareness to local environmental issues, and take action.

The team refers to their app as a one-stop-shop for people who want to contribute, but don’t know where to start.

It’s easy with ECOCamino: once a new user creates an account, their zip code automatically connects them to their community and all the opportunities available.

With just a few clicks, users of ECOCamino can:

1. Participate in local workshops and community cleanups. Registered users can add and organize events in their neighborhoods, mark the location on the Google Map, and then other users can sign up to attend.

Before visiting an event site in person, users can check Google Maps to see the surrounding area. This is incredibly useful for volunteers who need to find parking or mass transit.

2. Communicate through built-in forums. On top of participating in events, users can also create and reply to posts or ask and answer questions from other community members on forums.

Team HACCamino wants community members to use the forum to increase environmental awareness, educate, and address real threats to their local ecosystems.

Registered users will receive real-time notifications when a member interacts with their report, event, or forum post. Then the notifications are viewable once the user signs into the app.

3. Report trash and request assistance. Users can upload pictures of trash that needs to be picked up. Other users can then “adopt” the report and organize a cleanup or provide needed assistance.

4. Earn incentive or participation points. Registered users get to accumulate points for participating in events, reporting trash, etc. This gamifies the experience to boost turnouts and overall impact.

5. Promote environmental non-profits in the area. With a section dedicated to promoting local non-profit organizations, the team hopes to guide new do-gooders to organizations that best fit their interests.

See why ECOCamino earned first place in our hackathon? The environmental impacts Team HACCamino will create at the local level with their app will have lasting effects on communities and drive real action.

We’re so proud these students accomplished their goal with Meteor!

The ECOCamino Tech Stack & Challenges The Team Overcame

Team HACCaminio has been using Meteor for about a year total (not including off semesters). They praise Galaxy for making their app super easy to deploy.

Here’s an overview of Team HACCamino’s tech stack for ECOCamino:

BootstrapAWS S3React Google Maps / Google Maps PlacesReact Smart Data TableReact Date PickerReact Select

Despite the ease of use, Team HACCamino admitted that they faced two big challenges along the way:

Notifications: withTracker vs. useTracker

When the team tried to implement notifications, they ran into issues dealing with the withTracker and making it work with React hooks. After doing more research, Daphne found an article about how Meteor used useTracker to deal with React implementations. Problem solved 😎.

You can read more about useTracker here!

Switching from Semantic UI React to React Bootstrap

At the beginning of the hackathon, Team HACCamino switched from Semantic UI React to React Bootstrap. After using Semantic UI for all their classes previously, the team was “completely lost” on how different the two frameworks were.

The team described this switch as “very confusing.” But after a few days, they got used to the differences and successfully pressed on.

According to the team, if they had the opportunity to do it all over again, they would have stuck with Semantic UI instead of trying something new — especially with a six-day limit!

What’s Next for Team HACCamino and the ECOCamino App

Team HACCamino recently participated in another hackathon (Hawai’i Annual Code Challenge), where they created an app called HMARCamino with Meteor. Spoiler alert: They won first place!

The team plans to join (and crush!) more hackathons in the future. They also want to work on more team projects together to benefit society and the environment.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to the entire Meteor team for giving us the opportunity to participate and learn the extent of the framework. Our experience in this hackathon taught us many new things that we will definitely use in future projects.”

Team HACCamino says they want to turn ECOCamino into an actual mobile app using Cordova, just like one of the Hackathon judges, Renan Castro, suggested.

Since they only had five days to develop the app, the team will expand its features and capabilities, fix minor bugs, and develop additional security elements. They’ll be posting updates as soon as they can, so stay tuned!

Ready To See How Meteor Can Help Your Team?

Meteor is an open-source framework for seamlessly building and deploying web, mobile, and desktop applications in JavaScript.

The students on Team HACCamino utilized Meteor to develop an app that will help communities take action and leave lasting impacts on their local environments. We’re so proud to call them our 2021 Meteor Hackathon winners!

So what can Meteor do for your team or cause?

If you’re ready to find out, join the community of more than 500k developers from all over the world that trust and rely on Meteor today!

Meet Team HACCamino: The 2021 Meteor Hackathon Winner! was originally published in Meteor Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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