10 Jul 2023
From 11 May to 22 June 2023, close to 3,500 students from some 90 schools gathered to explore the exciting world of digital technology at the fifth edition of BrainHack.
The participants got hands-on experience and learnt about various topics including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, app development, space technology, fake news detection and extended reality through a series of virtual and physical workshops, hackathons and competitions. It was also the first time all six BrainHack activities were held in a physical format for the finale along with an exciting tech showcase!
The Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp (CDDC) equipped students with the skills and knowledge on malware, cryptography, web-based attacks and more. To close the event on an exciting note, student teams took part in a 36-hour online qualifier to make it to the finals, where finalists competed to take control of various models simulating components of a smart city.
The Today I Learned – Artificial Intelligence (TIL-AI) Camp allowed students to explore the world of machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics. Finalists had the opportunity to develop computer vision and natural language processing (NLP) models and integrate them into a robot to complete a search-and-rescue mission autonomously. Challenges include decoding audio messages for the next search check points and identifying the simulated terrorist or hostage.
A participant of TIL-AI, Soh Wei Kiat from NUS Computer Science decided to join BrainHack because it looked like a very interesting opportunity for him to learn more about AI and solve challenges. He said: "What I learnt from this competition is how to take all these individual domains and combine them together into a hardware to solve a new collection of problems."
Students who joined the SpaceCube activities had a chance to accomplish a remote imaging mission using their self-built CubeSat, experience doing a spacewalk in virtual reality and navigate a space rover mission. To top it off, the students also enjoyed the rare opportunity to interact in person with a former astronaut, Dr Soichi Noguchi from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
SpaceCube participant Treena Lee from Cedar Girls' Secondary School shared: "I got to build a CubeSat, that was very fun because it was the first time I've had that experience. It was something I've never got a chance to do in school."
At the first ever physical XRperience hackathon and workshop, students stepped into another reality and developed their very own applications with their new-found skills. Leveraging extended reality, they derived creative solutions for a wide range of use cases, including sustainability, mental health education and on Singapore's heritage.
Participants of SeeTrue picked up key tech tools such as computer vision and NLP to develop digital solutions to discern misleading information on the web.
Elston Tan from Singapore Polytechnic, who participated in the SeeTrue hackathon, expressed that the mentors were really friendly and helpful. "The problem statement is actually really interesting too," he added.
The CODE_EXP hackathon provided students a sneak peek into how it’s like to be a software engineer and experience the software development lifecycle. Finalists unleashed their creativity to code apps to address various problem statements, including the use of gamification to enhance employee experience and developing an app for public good.
Students who attended the finale on 21 to 22 Jun also learnt more about DSTA’s work, the various technologies its engineers are working on, and their applications to the defence industry through an interactive and fun tech showcase. From hardware vulnerability and identifying different signals to learning more about unmanned ground vehicles, training simulators and more, they got to interact and immerse themselves further in the world of tech.
Stay tuned for BrainHack 2024!