Stellar Projects at Space Apps 2016

“Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.” ~ Carl Sagan

This past weekend, the Mozilla Science Lab partnered with CartoDB to host Science Hack Day NY and Space Apps 2016, a combo event inviting our local community to learn and build cool projects and prototypes for space and open science. Our first evening we hosted a series of trainings around project pitching, connecting sensors, designing interfaces and finding data to support hackathon ideas, and you can profit from those same guides via our fancy Data Camp site. Our schedule for the two days that followed focused on team formation and project creation leading up to our selection of “winning” teams, and our submission of two projects and one people’s choice award to the Global Space Apps jury.

science hack day

We covered this in a previous announcement blog, but the turnout and enthusiasm was unexpected, and we’d love to address that here. We had an incredible diversity of around 25 participants, both female and male, beginner and advanced, cross-disciplinary and curious collaborators from all corners of New York and New Jersey. Likewise, our projects reflected a keen interest in solving problems in science creatively, with groups using the principles of art and industrial design to craft robotics prototypes, applying color field and depth mapping in VR space to complex principles of string theory and quantum mechanics, or scheming on the detection of meteorite material using some chemical properties of jewelry-making. It was a truly epic event.


  • Tumbleweed, a project piloted by the Stellar Folds, constructing self-assembling origami robots for rover rescue/retrieval and mesh-network development on Mars (Github)
  • Icelaska, a project to provide mobile data with micro-interaction sensitivity, such that hunters and researchers working in the extreme conditions of polar and arctic climates could use a mobile app for weather, and security/ice-stability updates both on- and off-line (Github).
  • Climate Story, a node application and site built to provide progressively more perceptive understanding of Climate change through present, past and future weather maps and predictions, with a sensitivity to geo-local and searchable environments (Github).

data camp

All three of these projects were nominated for global jury consideration in Space Apps 2016, in response to the variety of challenges provided to hackathon participants on the Space Apps site. You can read about all of the other projects built on the Science Hack Day NY Github here.

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We wish our winners the best of luck with the judging ahead, and look forward to spreading the science and space love among our awesome community of wide-wake and world-wise citizens!