CU HACKS 2 is the Cupertino Library’s FREE, overnight hack-a-thon event for teens where the next generation of programmers join together to bring their coolest ideas to life.

CU HACKS 2 is the Cupertino Library’s FREE, overnight hack-a-thon event for teenage participants and is part of the Santa Clara County Library District’s Teen Summer Reading Challenge 2016. CU Hacks 2 is scheduled for June 11 - 12, 2016.

The Cupertino Library and the Cupertino Library Foundation are dedicated to providing CU HACKS 2 as a springboard for the next generation of programmers, hardware enthusiasts, and all-around tech lovers in which they can join together and bring their coolest, most innovative ideas to life. 150 teenagers, ages 14 – 19, will be putting their engineering, robotics construction, and computer programing skills to the test in this epic event. Teen participants will compete for over $2800 in prizes, graciously donated by the Cupertino Library Foundation.

During CU HACKS 2, teen participants will be given a 12-hour time allotment in which to combine their critical thinking, technical planning, and coding development skills to produce applications directly relating to the CU HACKS 2 prompt. There is only one catch: the prompt will be kept secret until 72 hours before the event.

Throughout the night, a variety of mentor-led, instructional workshops will be held to assist participants of all skill levels. Whether the teen is a beginner coder or an experienced hacker, all attendees will exit the event having learned new programing techniques and skills to add to their evolving repertoire. CU HACKS 2 is also an excellent opportunity for young techies to network with and learn from like-minded teens, tech innovators, and experienced mentors.

A panel of guest judges will assess and score each hack-a-thon project based on a defined set of criteria for evaluating the submission’s originality, technical difficulty, and applicability. Top finalists will then have an opportunity to give a live “pitch” presentation highlighting their projects to the judges and explaining their application’s purpose, relevancy and effectiveness.

An award ceremony will be held shortly after the event at the Cupertino Hotel; here the winning teams will demonstrate their projects to the public and will be awarded their prizes. Cupertino Library Foundation members, library administrators, local politicians and community stakeholders will take part in this special event.

Developed by Teen Services Librarian Matt Lorenzo, CU HACKS is a collective, community event that fosters STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) learning skills and gives teen coders first-hand experience in joining together within an engaging, collaborative environment in which they can create and develop projects that have the potential to make a direct, positive impact on the lives of others.

View full rules


Participants must be between the ages of 14 - 19


ALL CU HACKS 2 Projects Submissions Must:

• Be your own work

• Be a finished product

• Can be anything that requires coding as the majority of the work involved (i.e. creating iphone/android apps, a website, a hardware hack, etc.)

• No malicious hacking allowed! No DDOSing the network, breaking into an existing product (i.e. facebook), etc.

How to enter

Registration for CU HACKS 2 opens Tuesday, May 31 at 10:00 am. Register here: 



What is your projects name?

Link to Youtube, Vimeo, or online video:

Category: Social, Educational, Game, Beginner?

Inspiration for the problem you are addressing?

How does your project positively impacts teenagers?

What are your Project Features?

What did you use to build your project? (language, API's, libraries, etc)

Any problems encountered?

What have you learned?


Savita Vadhyanathan

Savita Vadhyanathan
City of Cupertino - Vice Mayor

John Howe

John Howe
Principal Engineer - Video Clarity

Jerry Liu

Jerry Liu
Research Manager - HP Labs

Hatinder Chawla

Hatinder Chawla
Senior IT Manager - Cisco Systems

Judging Criteria

  • Originality & Innovation
  • Technical Difficulty
  • Potential Positive Impact
  • User Experience