MLH Official - Spring 2016

April 16 - 17, 2016


What is MenloHacks?

MenloHacks is the official hackathon for the Menlo School in Atherton, CA. We will be gathering 250 high school students this spring for 24 hours to build anything pertaining to hardware or software. Nobody is hacking into anything in the traditional, nefarious sense; rather, students are coming together to innovate and learn.


What is a hackathon?

In this context, the word "hack" means to create. A hackathon is an event where people come together for 24 hours to make something using the wonders of technology. But, the goal of a hackathon isn't just to create something: it's also to learn. Hackathons are the time to experiment with new technologies, APIs, SDKs, or even learn to code from scratch.

Who can attend?

Anyone currently in high school is eligible to attend.

How much coding experience do I need?

None at all. Hackathons are a fantastic place to learn and get advice from experienced hackers. However, we do recommend every team has at least one experienced hacker to provide guidance throughout the project. If you have taken AP Computer Science or a higher level of computer science, you should know enough to tackle a project without a more experienced hacker.

How much does the event cost?

It is 100% free. Even meals, snacks, and drinks are included.

What should I bring?

Bring some sort of photo ID (student IDs are fine), a laptop, and a charger. If you do not have a laptop, please contact us and we will help you try and rent one for the event. Also, if you are planning on hacking on hardware we cannot, at this time, guarantee hardware availability so bring your own hardware.

How will I get there?

If you live in the area (defined as an hour drive or less away from the event), you are responsible for getting to the event yourself. If you live in the area and can't find a ride, contact us and we will help you find a carpool or a public transit option. There is a small chance we will be providing buses depending on the demand from further away areas within the State of California so apply anyway and we will work with you to help you get there. However, if you live outside California we will not be providing any sort of reimbursement so getting here is up to you.

When do applications close?

Applications are currently closed.

What is the maximum team size?


How do I find a team?

All accepted hackers will be given an invitation to a Facebook group which can be used to find teammates. As well, there will be a team-forming event at the hackathon itself. Obviously, if you have friends going to the event, you are welcome to just team up with them; however, it is often more fun to code with new people.

What are the chaperone requirements I keep hearing about?

Because it is Menlo School's first hackathon, every school will be required to bring a chaperone. The chaperone must be there the entire time, but you can have multiple chaperones take shifts. A chaperone just needs to be any adult you know such as a parent or teacher. As well, the chaperone must undergo a Live Scan background check. There is a 72 hour processing time on Live Scan so we ask that the Live Scan be done by Tuesday, April 12. You can find a list of Live Scan locations here When you go to get your Live Scan background check, you will need to bring along this form

Is there a code of conduct?

Yes, there is. Generally, be nice, respectful, and courteous to others. If you want the more complete guide we are using the MLH code of conduct which can be found here.

I have other questions

Email us at

What will we do for first time hackers?

One of our goals in putting on MenloHacks is to make MenloHacks the ultimate destination for beginners and the experienced hacker alike. As part of that goal we are focusing on helping beginners as much as possible.


Using the MenloHacks app or website you will be able to request or chat with a mentor about whatever your problem may be. Having trouble configuring a database? Just request a mentor. Having trouble installing a framework? Just request a mentor. If it wasn't clear already, mentors will be everywhere to help you with your project.


Throughout the entire event, we will be hosting workshops on various technologies. The full schedule for these workshops will come out later, but rest assured, these workshops will help you get on your feet.



10:00 AM


11:00 AM

Opening Ceremonies

12:00 PM

Team-Forming Session

12:00 PM

Hacking Begins

1:00 PM


6:30 PM



12:00 AM

Midnight Snack

7:00 AM


12:00 PM

Hacking Ends

12:15 PM


12:45 PM

Judging Begins

2:15 PM

Closing Ceremony

3:30 PM

Go Home and Sleep

More details coming soon


Scott Forstall
Former SVP of iOS, Apple

Brienne Ghafourifar
Co-Founder, Entefy

Jens Christensen
CEO, Jaunt

Mike Cassidy
Vice President, Project Loon at Google