1. Beard Detector The Next Generation
    2. Talking Newspaper Stand
    3. Balloon Costumes (Best Wearable Award)
    4. Watch The Skies!
    5. Turbidimeter (Best In Show Award)
    6. SMirror
    7. LaserSETI
    8. Field Notes: an interactive citizen science game. (Best Interactive Award)
    9. Particular Affection (Best Dating App Award)
    10. Laser Labyrinth
    11. Data Is Music
    12. Boomwhackers Hero
    13. Listening to the Large Hadron Collider: Sounds of CMS (Best Use of Data Award)
    14. Quantum Physics Board Game
    15. Pixel Soup (Best Negative Results Award)
    16. Sound mapper (Best Sensory Award)
    17. Loony
    18. Ultrastound (Best Swarm Award)
    19. Dying Forest Symphony
    20. Local Climate Impacts
    21. Water Harp (People’s Choice Award)
    22. Precious Plastics
    23. Carbon 0 (Best Design Award)
    24. magic-chess
    25. Meowseq (Most Fun Award)
    26. Data is Music
    27. Recycled PLA capacitor
    28. Dirty Microchannel (Best Hardware Award)
    29. Animals in the air (Most “Mammal-orable” Award)

Beard Detector The Next Generation

Creators: Joshua Gourneau

It has been almost 8 years since the original beard detector was released. It has been remade, this time powered by Machine Learning.

APIs, data and tools used: Python
Azure Cognitive Services

Screenshots, photos and videos:

Hack URL:

Talking Newspaper Stand

Creators: Ruby Chen
Marianna Johnson
Emily M

Newspaper stands have fallen into disuse as more and more people depend on digital media for their daily news. However, newspaper stands have traditionally served vital role in building community through sharing local information and promoting local commerce. We aimed to modernize the physical newspaper stand to serve its original purpose.

We created a Talking Newspaper Stand. As a member of the public passes the News Stand, a proximity-activated motor and speaker triggers and begins sharing news stories from local news organizations. The audio continues until the user moves out of the field of vision.

In the future we would like to link to live news updates and news from local groups make the newspaper stand more valuable to the local community.

APIs, data and tools used: Arduino; mp3 player shield, SPFat Util

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://vimeo.com/367606386

Hack URL:

Balloon Costumes

Creators: Lily Lew
Blake Au
Quannon Au

There are many things invented to make our lives easier. Linking balloons together is one of them. Our goal was to create a costume using ordinary party balloons that only have one end to tie.

Why? Balloons are fun and they have a unique characteristic for manipulating air.

In designing our hack we wanted to know if regular round balloons could build a costume that would cover the entire body. This would be in comparison to balloons that have two ends which I’ll call linking balloons.

Preliminary research done prior to Science Hack Day indicated that popular balloon costumes involved safety pins or string to make the balloons stay on clothes for costumes such as grapes, berries, skittles, M&Ms.

This reminded me of Christmas lights where the lights are tied in a string and wrapped around or tied up. The balloons could be strung but it needed a frame to support it and give it shape.

The frame had to have many of the characteristics that normal costumes have: easy to make, easy to move in, not too heavy, able to get in and out of, doesn’t fall apart or get damaged, easy to acquire supplies, not too expensive, able to be seen and see out of.

Common inexpensive frames could include cardboard, wire, plastic, clothes…

The following items were purchased:
Party City: 12 inch round balloons in black
A roll of narrow plastic stripes used to string balloons. The plastic was very soft and flexible and had regular intervals of single holes to insert the balloon nozzle into.

Online specialty products: rolls of plastic stripes similar to party city but had a hole to plug in the noozle and then slide to a smaller hole to lock in. The plastic was more rigid and included adhesive dots.
Quick Link Balloons in 6″ and 12″ round white
Various sizes of narrow balloons used for twisting animals (160, 260, 350, 646). Prior knowledge indicated that many balloon dresses are made of 160 and 260 to capture the detail.

Previous acquired products: 9″ and 12″ yellow round balloons, 5″ and 12″ round white balloons, balloon pumps, Assorted tapes (duct, clear packaging, double sided), pipe cleaners, string (yarn was assumed to act the same as string and was not tested), ribbon, safety pins, plastic bags, cardboard, glue gun,

Strategy: 1) Find a way to connect the balloons
2) Find a way to support the connected balloons into a specific shape that can be worn.
3) Wear and move in the costume without damaging the costume.

1) connecting the balloons:
String like material- string, ribbon, plastic in narrow stripes
Adhesive: Tapes, glue gun, glue, adhesive dots
Ties: cable ties, twist ties, safety pins
2) Support for the string of balloons:
Material to make a box, vest, straps that can be worn – Cardboard, straps, duct tape, pipe cleaners
Clothing: Vest, Hoodie, sweatshirt
Only the area above the waist was considered. Previous knowledge indicated that balloons are difficult to move in below the knee.

Linking balloons have a tying end at both sides. This makes it very easy to make a string of balloons in a chain. These chains can then be formed into rings and stacked. The stacked rings are then linked vertically with additional chains. Round, oval or cylindrical shapes are commonly used to make the body and head of a costume.

Science Hack Day Goal:
Make the easiest cheapest costume that covers the entire body = Black balloons to make a Black Sheep. The roundness of the balloon makes the sheep look fluffy.

Try to find a way to make specific shapes using round balloons – Yellow balloons

Compare to balloons that can link together: White QuickLinks

Science Hack Day:
Three categories were tested. 1) Black Sheep to make quick and easy way to cover the entire body. 2) Yellow Pikachu to make a specific shape (because I had lots of yellow in 9″ and 12″) 3) White Lab Rat using QuickLinks

Yellow: 9″ round
Inflated 9″ round Translucent balloons to about 6 inches. The balloons were fastened to the plastic stripes in alternating left, right side of the hole. The ones with a big and small hole would come off. Tied two balloons around a single hole to correct the problem. This secured the balloons from falling off and created noticeable gaps. The adhesive dots were applied to hold the balloons together. Double sided tape was not quite strong enough.
The plastic stripes with single holes seemed to hold better but the stripe were soft. These were strung in a single line since only one balloon nozzle would fit in the hole. Used the adhesive dots to help the balloons stay together.
Tried punching holes in trash bag. Balloons tore through the plastic even when duct tape was applied.

Black: 12″ round
The black sheep design was the simplest as two balloons were inflated to 7″ and tied together to form duplets. These duplets were strung in a straight line. The line would then wrap around a person like lights on a Christmas Tree. The balloons were strung together relatively tight to make it sturdy. This design seems most suitable to costumes that have round elements. The balloons were also under inflated resulting in a thicker membrane that would be more resistant to popping.

White: 12″ QuickLink Horizontal, 6″ Quicklink Vertical
The measurements for the QuickLinks were based on a design found online with a starting approximation of 8 balloons inflated to 8 inches (lengthwise). The row above and below were sized to be smaller to create a tapered effect. The sizing as done by over inflating the balloon and then releasing air until the balloon could fit through a gap between two tables that was measured with a measuring tape.
The three rings were stacked and connected using the 6″ QuickLinks. Due to time constraints and a numbness in the fingers the design on the White only included the Head. The top half was where the facial features would be placed: nose and eyes.
The design for the Lab Rat was based on Pinky Mouse from Pinky and the Brain. The curvature of the nose was made using a shorter length on the upper side to pull the balloons upward. The Eyes were sized unsymmetrically to give a confused expression. White balloons were randomly placed for the upper half for comparison. Long 350 balloons were also substituted for the vertical connections instead of round balloons.
The long balloons seemed to be more versatile in being able to connect in any direction and also longer or shorter than the 6″ quick link. The length also covered the distance of 5 quicklinks.

Yellow: 12″ round
Most of the morning was on testing the 9″ yellow rounds since I had lots of them and also because smaller size balloons are cheaper than bigger ones. The noticeable difference 9″ were translucent (thinner) and 12′ were opaque and much thicker. The 9″ required more balloons to cover the same surface area of the 12″. The 9″ were postulated to be able to create more detail due to the smaller size.
In shuffling, two of the 9″ rounds had already popped. Repair was not easy since the shape collapsed and the scrap was unable to be removed due to the strength of the adhesive dots.

The plastic stripes did not seem to provide any more benefit on time then the string method. The 12″ yellow balloons were inflated to about 7.5 inches and tied in duplets using string and an adhesive would need to be added to hold in together.
When tested at home prior to hack day the 9″ balloons would stick perfectly tight with a low temperature glue gun. However there was a very fine line between a strong hold and the number of balloons that popped.
This was not the case for the 12″, the balloons separated but the old glue remained on one side and was not easy to remove.
Duct tape (not the cheap ones) was the other adhesive that popped the 9″. Duck Tape brand tape was rolled and used to hold the 12″ balloons together. This works because there is a little bit of leeway for the balloon to compress or pull back. The location of the tape is critical. Once the tape is on, it holds on tight so having two people on this task is recommended. The balloons need to be formed in the final shape. I had mistakenly laid them flat and got a flat plane of balloons that would not curve. The balloons were also taped where it was not under strain. In many cases tape was not applied to all sides especially the ones that had three or four contact points.

In conclusion, the linking balloons offer more versatility in the construction of a sturdy structure. In a pinch, the cheapest, fastest and easiest method is to use string and wrap the balloons around the body.

Future testing should include cardboard for the frame and any additional materials you have.

APIs, data and tools used:

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bbdXhqJ7Q1ufpWIPMRkCulHsxX0hHmwa/view?usp=sharing

Hack URL:

Watch The Skies!

Creators: Scott Manley
Brett Thomas
Maya Thomas

In Everyday life we are blissfully unaware of the space rocks flying past the Earth, so we present a device which will help mere mortals identify threats to the planet with a helpful physical pointed.

APIs, data and tools used: Python
pyephem https://rhodesmill.org/pyephem/
MPC Asteroid Data https://minorplanetcenter.net//iau/Ephemerides/Soft03.html
Celestrak Satellite Data http://www.celestrak.com/
Code: https://github.com/illectro/watchtheskies

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://imgur.com/a/gHNIiD8

Hack URL:


Creators: Chloe Bonneau, Gilles de Bordeaux, Virginie de Bordeaux

A water filtration system to turn dirty water into a clean, sanitary, drinkable fluid, using free local supplies.

APIs, data and tools used: Reclaimed plastic bottle, paper or cloth, sand, gravel, charcoal.
Optional electronic meter.

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://github.com/GillesdeB/Turbidimeter

Hack URL:


Creators: Mark Perlin
Laura Garcia Insa
Steven Jarymiszyn
Nicholas Deitricht
Morris Mwanga
Drew Gold
Timothy LaRose

Light-tracking mirror with close loop feedback.

APIs, data and tools used: Arduino IDE
3D printer
Hack Saw

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1CVvHT5PtPl1jISl0cRn7YYHxFlI8iSpI

Hack URL:


Creators: Vlad Bachurin
Eliot Gillum
Ivan Teo

Data analysis, automatically make movies from observing night, other good stuff

APIs, data and tools used: Visual Studio

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://youtu.be/JPeX6CgxZgA

Hack URL: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/laser-seti-first-ever-all-sky-all-the-time-search#/

Field Notes: an interactive citizen science game.

Creators: Thomas Stucky
Mika McKinnon
Janet Stemwedel
Natalie Downe

“Granny gave me the field notebook she kept when she was little, ‘years ago and a world away.’ When I open it, I am in that world. Now I’m exploring this small planet and trying to classify what I see…”

In this game, players encounter actual images and sound files of animals, plants, galaxies, etc., and provide classifications that contribute to ongoing citizen science projects. As you complete a classification task, the background of the world shifts from gray to vibrant color. If you need help with a classification task, Granny’s field notebook provides helpful tutorials.

APIs, data and tools used: Godot Game Engine, Zooniverse

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://unrulycuriosity.itch.io/science-hack-day-2019

Hack URL:

Particular Affection

Creators: Jieying Yang, Jamie Catt, Nathalia Kasman

Sensing if you’ve taken particular liking to someone, and giving them a sign.

APIs, data and tools used: SW:TouchDesigner, Arduino. HW: Pulse and Muscle Sensors. Cr: PulseSensor Library, Particle Sop (TouchDesigner) by In Dae Hwang.

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/104yoi1bDiS6JkwQuN_hCOedoDEXAJuJ4?usp=sharing

Hack URL:

Laser Labyrinth

Creators: Kennedy McDaniel & Parm Gill

An update to the classic game, with laser, mirrors, and 7 possible end-points.

APIs, data and tools used: Rulers
Craft mirrors

Screenshots, photos and videos:

Hack URL:

Data Is Music

Creators: Evan Boswell
Kate James
Dorien Gunnels

Data contributed by:
Scott Manley
Dan Laurie
Matt Bellis
Ruhan Dong

Programmed an arduino to convert 4-column .CSV numerical data into voltages, which are fed into a modular synthesizer to create a data-driven playable instrument.

APIs, data and tools used: Hardware: Ardunio, eruorack synthesizer (modules: spherical wavetable navigator, tempi, quad DCA, clouds, maths, wasp filter), assorted cables, and portable speaker

Software: Python, numpy, GitHub repository

Screenshots, photos and videos:

Hack URL: https://github.com/0916kj/data-is-music

Boomwhackers Hero

Creators: Matt Bellis
Delaney Corrigan
Samuel Richardson
Spencer Tibbitts

Boomwhackers are hollow, plastic tubes that make different musical sounds depending on their length. We made a Guitar Hero style video game for a few songs, and with 4+ people everyone can take 1-2 boomwhackers and play together to make a song.

APIs, data and tools used: P5js – https://editor.p5js.org/

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/17JKbBRITVdssWuuLDNBVfjzrRWGSLQQP3wK6eseebsU/edit?usp=sharing

Hack URL: https://editor.p5js.org/stibbs1998/full/5RoBjZJ9G

Listening to the Large Hadron Collider: Sounds of CMS

Creators: Matt Bellis
for the CMS collaboration
Everyone at every Science Hack Day I’ve attended who has inspired me to find new ways to play with my work. 🙂

I took data from the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider and sonified it. Particle types and particle characteristics map on to volume, pitch, etc. The data come from the 2016 run period with a single muon trigger and some selection has been done to cut out low pt jets, muons, and electrons.

APIs, data and tools used: p5.js

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://editor.p5js.org/mattbellis/present/kyxmlCCZf

Hack URL: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1vWFURlTRK_4n0weLvuszWvbwlsSbKWu1f4FhLAiGex0/edit?usp=sharing

Quantum Physics Board Game

Creators: Delaney Corrigan
Samuel Richardson
Matt Bellis

We came to the event with a prototype for an education; quantum physics board game but it was not fully functional and instead was quite complicated. We were able to play the game with new individuals and get new perspectives/ideas. We overhauled the original game and created a much more playable version of the game with many of the original ideas in a new and improved form.

APIs, data and tools used:

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1RFg0Xxfa2JIJIxnDjwLlHpGJWaPcUL4X5AKjtBWMQcU/edit?usp=sharing

Hack URL:

Pixel Soup

Creators: Sheen Kao
Gabriele Venturelli
Allen Calderwood

Using Machine Learning to Re-type Pokemon

APIs, data and tools used: Tensorflow

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://i.imgur.com/ERmU70T.jpg

Hack URL:

Sound mapper

Creators: Gordon Kirkwood
Catherine Cardinal
Raymond Wu
Christianna Taylor

We prototyped a mass produceable microphone preamp that we intend to use to make a dense array of microphone to LED converters

APIs, data and tools used: Teensy microcontroller, op-amps, 3d printing, oscilloscope

Screenshots, photos and videos:

Hack URL:


Creators: Matt McGovern
Jake Bicknell
Matt Zaffram

Balloon propelled robot

APIs, data and tools used: Arduino
Blow-up mattress pump
BLDC Motors
Step Motor

Screenshots, photos and videos:

Hack URL:


Creators: Andrew Catino
Jason Tong
Chris Berry
Jack Sivak
Michael Eickenberg
Dan Lurie

In nature, many complex large-scale phenomena emerge from interactions between many simple components [1]. A classic example of this is synchronized flashing of fireflies [2]. Each firefly follows a simple rule for how to change when it flashes based on the flashes it observes from other fireflies. From this simple local rule, a population of fireflies that begins out of synchrony can emergently synchronize their flashing, resulting in an entire area of the forest blinking on and off in unison [3].

Inspired by this phenomenon, we sought to build a web-based system to synchronize devices (phones and laptops) using ultrasound communication.

Devices emit an ultrasound pulse through their speakers at a common fixed interval, but each device begins their pulsing at a random time. Each time a device hears an ultrasound pulse from another device, it advances or delays its own next pulse to try to match the phase of other nearby devices. Through this simple local rule, global synchrony can emerge among multiple devices.

We built two variations on this theme:
1) Each cycle, devices play an audible music clip in addition to the ultrasound pulse. The music begins as unsynchronized chaos but eventually converges into a neighborhood of devices all playing in synchrony.
2) Devices sense when they are synchronized with others in their neighborhood, at which point it will play a music clip. Assuming that neighboring devices are properly synchronized, the music should start simultaneously.

Our demos work in principle, and to some extent in practice.

1. https://www.amazon.com/Sync-Order-Emerges-Universe-Nature/dp/0786887214
2. https://www.firefly.org/synchronous-fireflies.html
3. https://ncase.me/fireflies/?

APIs, data and tools used: Web Audio API – https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Web_Audio_API
Tone.js – https://github.com/Tonejs/Tone.js
p5.js – https://p5js.org

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://github.com/cantino/ultrastound

Hack URL: https://github.com/cantino/ultrastound

Dying Forest Symphony

Creators: Roman Gurovich
Christopher Swanson

How could music be made to raise awareness of the Amazon disappearance from the data gathered recording the fires detected in the Amazon forest.

APIs, data and tools used: Midi tools, Javascript, UNIX tools, Python, Node, Curl, …

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://github.com/dying-forest-symphony/bolsonaro

Hack URL: https://github.com/dying-forest-symphony/bolsonaro

Local Climate Impacts

Creators: Kevin Qi
Becky Marjerison
Tara Lin
Marie Lu
Aaron White
Shannon Flume

We’d like to help people easily see which climate impacts are likely to happen in their city, and give them tools to take action. Many sources of information about climate change are confusing, technical, and/or depressing. Our tool shows specific, local data. Action includes things you can do to prepare yourself and your community for changes to your local environment.

Future improvements include more geographical coverage, ideas for action items to nudge the world toward Optimistic Scenario, and information about natural disasters such as wildfire, river floods and tornadoes.

Source code:

APIs, data and tools used: Data: Observed and projected temperature and precipitation values from Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project via Carbon Brief (https://github.com/hausfath/warming_map/blob/master/gridcell_characteristics.csv);
and https://toolkit.climate.gov; https://riskfinder.climatecentral.org
Resilience and preparedness tips from a variety of web sources

Tools: Postgres database, PostGIS, React

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://i.imgur.com/VIof7Wl.png https://i.imgur.com/SNiGFoi.png https://i.imgur.com/Xilsr1Q.png

Hack URL: http://ff1a3b3f.ngrok.io/

Water Harp

Creators: Brent Townshend, Paul Mans, Alex Wolff, Marina Dimitrov, Camille Townshend, Gabe Buckmaster, Michele Lamarre, Isa Stiennon, Rolf van Widenfelt, James Hennessy

The water harp — a harp made of strings of water! Play music in game mode or improv mode.

APIs, data and tools used: Python, Arduino, OpenNI, PrimeSense, Water pump, 80-20, Solenoids

Screenshots, photos and videos: http://waterharpsfsciencehackday.weebly.com/

Hack URL:

Precious Plastics

Creators: Cate Levey
Alex Glow

We worked on using recycled plastics and bio-based materials to make materials. The idea is to combine recycled and other sustainable materials that can be used for a wide variety of purposes.
We made jewelry out of repurposed and recycled PLA from 3D printing. We also attempted to make a miniature prototype of a park bench, entirely out of bio-based materials. (We were not able to complete this one)
Eventually, there’s the possibility to sequester carbon by growing plants and turning them into these materials. Commercially available bio-based (plant-derived) plastics are already available, and we could use the fibers or other materials to reinforce these.

APIs, data and tools used: Recycled plastic milk jugs – (High Density Polyethylene)
Recycled plastic scraps from 3D printers (Polylactic acid)
Bio-based Compostable plastic (Polylactic acid)
Wood scraps
Toaster oven
Glue gun

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://github.com/alexglow/earth-heart/wiki

Hack URL: https://github.com/alexglow/earth-heart/wiki

Carbon 0

Creators: Yeled Omercy
Gacoka Mbui
Ruhan Dong
Senay Yakut
Cherry Yiu
Andriy Kashyrskyy
Yusuf Abdulmueez
Penelope Barr

We envision using AR, location tracking and the ability to start group campaigns to allow for social motivation and sharing and taking care of plants together as a social activity.

APIs, data and tools used:

Screenshots, photos and videos:

Hack URL: https://github.com/SenayYakut/Carbon0


Creators: Tom Bishop, John Ellis, Robert Harris, Dennis Li, Katarina Slama, Dan Lurie

use CV/ML to detect real chess piece positions and play via browser

APIs, data and tools used: raspberry pi, cameras, etc etc

Screenshots, photos and videos: tbd

Hack URL: https://thumbtools.com/[email protected]&notebook=magic-chess


Creators: Chalen Duncan
Judy Meza Guedez
Oscar Meza Guedez
Sam Sampson

A step-sequencer for making music built using angular 2.

APIs, data and tools used: Angular 2

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://imgur.com/a/I2PuEul

Hack URL: https://github.com/pattch/meowseq

Data is Music

Creators: Evan Boswell
Kate James
Dorien Gunnels

Data contributed by:
Scott Manley
Dan Laurie
Matt Bellis
Ruhan Dong

Programmed an arduino to convert 4-column .CSV numerical data into voltages, which are fed into a modular synthesizer to create a data-driven playable instrument.

APIs, data and tools used: Hardware: Ardunio, eruorack synthesizer (modules: spherical wavetable navigator, tempi, quad DCA, clouds, maths, wasp filter), assorted cables, and portable speaker

Software: Python, numpy, GitHub repository

Screenshots, photos and videos: https://youtu.be/iCxLf0TMhjc

Hack URL: https://github.com/0916kj/data-is-music

Recycled PLA capacitor

Creators: Shannon Fiume

Test recycled PLA, and PLA scraps as a network mesh and see if it can support a capacitative medium.

APIs, data and tools used: Scrap PLA, conductive paste, mandarin orange, volt meter

Screenshots, photos and videos:

Hack URL:

Dirty Microchannel

Creators: samira darvishi

I made a microchannel using the tools here.

APIs, data and tools used: drill, saw, clamps, 3d printer

Screenshots, photos and videos:

Hack URL:

Animals in the air

Creators: C Lee and Bennett Fonacier

Display in animal(s) for the amount of CO2 released by a vehicle based on mile per gallon and annual miles driven.

APIs, data and tools used:

Screenshots, photos and videos:

Hack URL: