Huskie Hack 2022 to focus on food sustainability


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The NIU Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships is hosting its 2022 Huskie Hack at noon on Nov. 5 in the Duke Ellington Ballroom at the Holmes Student Center.

By Caleb Johnson, Lifestyle Writer

Editor’s note: Raghela Scavuzzo, associate director of food systems development at Illinois Farm Bureau will now be speaking at 4 p.m. instead of Andrew Morgan, President of Local Foods, Chicago.

The NIU Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships will be hosting the 24-hour Huskie Hack starting at noon on Nov. 5 in the Duke Ellington Ballroom at the Holmes Student Center. The event’s focus is on creating innovative and technological solutions for food sustainability.

While having programming knowledge is not necessary, it could be very beneficial to have a person on the team who does. The division recommends creating teams with people from a variety of backgrounds, including artists, makers, scientists, historians and more. Students from all majors are encouraged to join the event. 

Teams will be made with groups of 4 to 6 people. All participants must be 18 years or older. While middle schoolers and high schoolers can’t partake in the event, they are invited to come out for open houses and view the technologies created. This event is free to participate in.

Students can get advice from event organizers, sponsors and faculty mentors. The division will also be offering thousands of dollars worth of prizes for the best solutions created.

Registration is required to participate. You can register as a group or individual

Participants are required to check in at 11 a.m. on Nov. 5. When checking in, a valid student ID and registration form are expected. Bringing your laptop, chargers and any other electronics is necessary. A sleeping bag is optional. 

Throughout the event, there will also be speakers from the food sustainability industry and NIU. 

At noon NIU President Lisa Freeman will give the opening remarks. Marc Zornes, co-founder and CEO of Winno will follow at 1 p.m. The next speaker is Jeneen Fields, an assistant professor of botany from Purdue University at 2:30 p.m. Afterwards, Andrew Morgan, President of Local Foods, Chicago, at 4:00 p.m 

The keynote speaker is Riana Lynn at 7:00 p.m. Lynn is the industry leader and founder of Foodtrace, a company that helps you track the food supply chain. 

Projects must be turned in by Nov. 6, 9:30 a.m. or teams will be disqualified. To upload the project on time, the department recommends uploading no later than 15 minutes before the deadline. 

For any questions, or concerns regarding this event email the division at [email protected].