While siblings Gabriel and Chandler Wimmer celebrated their first-place at the 2014 VEX IQ Robotics World Championship in Anaheim, California, something struck them as odd. The competition hosted more than 10,000 teams from around the world, but the brothers were curious why they didn’t see more teams there – given that there are tens of thousands of elementary and secondary schools in the United States alone.
tech for good
After spending a chaotic day on a boat rescuing people from Hurricane Harvey floodwaters, Matthew Marchetti set out to see if he could put his data engineering skills to work to find a more organized way to save those affected by the storm damage. He created a platform called CrowdSource Rescue to connect victims with volunteers while local officials and the U.S. Coast Guard were inundated with calls. Within hours of setting up the platform, Matthew received thousands of requests for rescue.
After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Leah Halbina reached out to friends in the Houston area to see how she could help. When she found out about Sketch City, an open, nonprofit community of technology advocates and civic hackers that used technology to organize rescue efforts, help victims locate their nearest shelter and satisfy other pressing needs, she jumped in to help. Shortly after, Leah had to use the same technology in her home state of Florida as Hurricane Irma approached and made landfall.
When Ronnie Devries realized how many Houston residents were in need following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, he knew he could help. With experience as the volunteer coordinator, Ronnie helped create a makeshift command center at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center – which quickly became a shelter for thousands of residents displaced by the storm. Working overnight, he helped set up a system for volunteer coordination to ensure volunteers were matched with all aspects of shelter operations.