Winter 2020 | 5th Annual Hackathon

The 2020 CBusStudentHack Finale has been moved to a virtual format. For more information, click HERE.

What is it?

The CbusStudentHack – Coding for Community is a 2-month programming contest for central Ohio high school students. Participants will work in teams to create an app that addresses a real-world problem within this year’s theme Securing Our Community.

This rewarding experience will introduce students to computer science education and help them build the skills they need to prepare for college and careers. The hackathon will help develop programming skills, technical communication strategies, and open the doors of opportunity and creativity.

When and where is it?

Kickoff Education Day: *Wed, Jan 29, 2020 (9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.)
*Inclement Weather Back-Up Date: Thurs, Jan 30, 2020
Judging and Awards Finale: Wed, April 1, 2020 (9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.)

Location: Columbus Metropolitan Library, 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215

How is it judged?*New This Year!*

The Finale Event will consist of a Poster Session where each team has a table to set up a poster, laptop, and/or other visual aids and judges will rotate between the tables to hear presentations and ask questions. There will also be a Public Viewing Hour for students, teachers, parents, and partners to see all the awesome projects! Each team will also receive a certificate with a rating of Superior, Excellent, Good, Satisfactory, or Incomplete. You can check out the official Rules Page for more details.

Are there different levels? *New This Year!*

Teams can choose to compete in either the Rookie Hacker or Senior Hacker categories. Here’s a breakdown:

Rookie Hacker:

  • No 12th Grade Students, and no participants from a previous Top 5 Team
  • Must use a “low code platform” like AppInventor
  • Lower Stakes Competition, with the Top 3 Team Cash Prizes ranging from $250-$750
  • Eligible for mentorship by previous winners and university students

Senior Hacker:

  • All 9th-12th grade students welcome, including previous winners
  • Any app platform is allowed
  • Higher Stakes Competition, with the Top 3 Team Cash Prizes ranging from $500-$1,500

What are the Prizes like?

In addition to the cash prizes for the Top 3 Teams in each category, every team member that completes the contest and presents a project in the Finale event will be eligible for a $30,000 Scholarship to Franklin University or a $40,000 Scholarship to Urbana University. (Select majors)

Can I help?

Yes, please!! The CBusStudentHack couldn’t happen without community support. If you are interested in sponsoring a Team’s Project Table, please check out our Sponsors Page!

If you are interested in being a Judge or Timekeeper at our Finale, please email

Our Featured Partner this Year is Battelle.

“I would like to say how much I appreciated the opportunity to compete. At first, I was certainly only interested in the competition because of the rewards available, but as development progressed I found that programming on this scale was something I really enjoyed. So, thank you for giving me the spark I needed to realize how much I enjoyed programming. Even since the competition, I have worked further on the app in hopes of one day releasing it to the app store. Additionally, this competition gave me the chance to build my resume, which has been becoming increasingly important over the past year.  I sincerely hope that this competition continues in the oncoming years, as I would like to be part of it every year.” 

– Jayden Toomer (MeTrio)

Hackathon Invite

Register Now at! Space is expected to fill fast!

Questions: Email