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Teen Hackers Try to Convince Parents They Are Up to Good

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A student participating in a weekly hacking club.

Teenagers across the country are forming hacking clubs, attending hackathons, and trying to spread the word that hacking doesnt always mean breaking into government servers or stealing bank data.

Credit: Daniel Tepper/The Wall Street Journal

U.S. teenagers are forming hacking clubs and attempting to persuade their parents and teachers that hacking is not necessarily a malign vocation.

For example, the TeenHacks LI club of Long Island, NY, arranges hackathons, and 15-year-old executive director Snigdha Roy had to convince her parents these activities were innocuous, and even beneficial.

Hacking club and hackathon participants said these activities go outside traditional education, allowing them to learn programming from peers instead of from teachers in classrooms.

More extensive organizations include Hack Club, which provides high school students with a curriculum, helps participants connect and ask technical questions, and trains them on raising money and attracting corporate sponsors for hackathons.

Hack Club founder Zach Latta said the goal of such efforts is to create "more thoughtful, unconventional problem solvers" to address world challenges like climate change, which can be traced to technology.

From The Wall Street Journal
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