UNESCO Hackathon at FOSSASIA Summit in Singapore

Join the UNESCO Open Data Hackathon at the FOSSASIA Summit, create open source apps and games that tackle climate change, environment and sustainable development challenges, and win awesome prizes! The hackathon takes place from Saturday 24 March to Sunday 25 March 2018 at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Singapore.

We are specifically interested in applications and games that set an example for others who could replicate solutions in other countries, and in particular in the Mekong countries, to tackle the sustainable development challenges. It is our goal to engage the developer community to develop innovative applications in open source by leveraging the open data and knowledge available.

We are inviting developers, designers, open source contributors, bloggers, journalists and all FOSSASIA community members to be part of the UNESCO Hackathon. We are especially encouraging applications from the Mekong region to join the contest. The hackathon is open for all and awesome prizes are waiting for you!

For participants from outside of Singapore we have the possibility to host them in a Singapore hostel. Please apply here. The number is limited. UNESCO encourages the application of women and girls.

How do I sign up?

1. Get your ticket to the Event on eventyay.com.

2. Sign up on Devpost.

3. Join the Gitter channel at https://gitter.im/fossasia/hackathon (requires login with Github).

4. Find team members and create your team preferably at least 3 members and maximum 5 contributors. You are also welcome to sign up and then wait until the Presentation of Ideas on Saturday before deciding to join a team, however we’d encourage you to form/join a team in advance if you already have an idea that you’d like to work on.

5. Join the event at the Lifelong Learning Institute on Saturday, March 24 at the opening at 2.00 pm until 10.00 pm and on Sunday, March 25 from 9.00 am until 5.00 pm.

Visit the website at unesco.sciencehack.asia and stay connected, join the event on Facebook and Meetup and follow FOSSASIA on Twitter.

UNESCO Hackathon Schedule

Hackathon Opening: March 24, 2018

12.00 Registration Opens
14:00 Opening
14.10 Intro of Background, Rules and Prizes
14:20 Presentation of Ideas, Teams and Team Building Activities
15:00 Begin of Hacking Activities
19.30 Dinner
22:00 Closing of Space

Hackday: March 25, 2018

08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 13:00 Hack Activities Continue
13:00 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00 Hacking Continues
14:00 Submission Form Closes
15:15 – 16:00 Presentation of Outcome
16:00 Judges Withdraw for Consultation
16:30 Award Announcement and Ceremony
17:00 Summit Closing


Lifelong Learning Institute

Address: 11 Eunos Road 8, Singapore 408601


Prizes are awarded for three teams, and each team prize with a value of 1000 SGD. Win cool gear, hardware, raspis, Arduinos and more!

Project Submission Requirements

For the expected outcome of the hack, the applications or games shall be open source and use open data to tackle the climate change, environment and sustainable development challenges.

They shall address one or several of the following requirements:

  1. Respond to pressing environmental challenges at local, national or regional levels in Asia

  2. Enable the visualization of data in an innovative and/or easy-to-understand way

  3. Mobilize and create engagement of variety of stakeholders and sectors in society on climate change, environment and sustainable development

  4. Gender-sensitive prototype, recognizing or encouraging women’s participation in sustainable development

Functioning App

An important point is, is the prototype or showcase functioning? We prefer real code and design implementations over mockups.

What to enter

Please submit a link to the app, a Github repo link and a short presentation as a download or on Google drive (ensure it is set to public sharing). You can also share anything else to demonstrate your work and let us test it.

  • Video: The platform accepts links to YouTube, Vimeo or Youku. If you like you can post a short video to demonstrate your work.

  • File Upload: There is also an option to upload a file. The platform allows submitters to upload one file, though they can combine files into a single ZIP file.

  • Other: The platform requires contestants to enter an entry name and description. Please also accept the the conditions of the contest including sharing your work under certified Open Source license.


Share information about what operating systems or devices can your hack run on.


Include information about API, SDK, or data set, that are required to run the app.

New vs. Existing

Any work done need to be new for the competition. Existing apps are not eligible. However the specific details what is acceptable and what is not will be determined by the jury. For example existing apps that have been modified substantially and include entirely new functionality would still be eligible.

Submission Rights & Display

The submissions should be Open Source and licensed under a compliant Open Source/Free Software license. They should be upload to a Github repository.

We also request the right to use the winners’ names and work to promote the competition and hackathons in future.


UNESCO Hackathon: https://unesco.sciencehack.asia

FOSSASIA Summit: https://2018.fossasia.org

Tickets: https://eventyay.com/e/db15e7db/

Project Signup: https://fossasia-unesco.devpost.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/139329623548116/

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/FOSSASIA-Singapore-Open-Technology-Meetup/events/247899257/

FOSSASIA: https://twitter.com/fossasia

List of Open Data Resources in Asia

Data portals across Asia: http://dataportals.org
China: http://opendatachina.com
Singapore http://data.gov.sg
Indonesia: https://petabencana.id/map/jakarta
Cambodia: https://opendevelopmentcambodia.net
Thailand https://data.go.th, http://catalog.opendata.in.th
Vietnam: https://vietnam.opendevelopmentmekong.net/data/
World Bank: https://data.worldbank.org
India http://data.gov.in

The Pocket Science Lab: Who Needs it, and Why

Science and technology share a symbiotic relationship. The degree of success of experimentation is largely dependent on the accuracy and flexibility of instrumentation tools at the disposal of the scientist, and the subsequent findings in fundamental sciences drive innovation in technology itself. In addition to this, knowledge must be free as in freedom. That is, all information towards constructing such tools and using them must be freely accessible for the next generation of citizen scientists. A common platform towards sharing results can also be considered in the path to building a better open knowledge network.

But before we get to scientists, we need to consider the talent pool in the student community that gave rise to successful scientists, and the potential talent pool that lost out on the opportunity to better contribute to society because of an inadequate support system. And this brings us to the Pocket Science Lab

How can PSLab help electronics engineers & students?

This device packs a variety of fundamental instruments into one handy package, with a Bill-of-materials that’s several orders of magnitude less than a distributed set of traditional instruments.

It does not claim to be as good as a Giga Samples Per second oscilloscope, or a 22-bit multimeter, but has the potential to offer a greater learning experience. Here’s how:

  • A fresh perspective to characterize the real world. The visualization tools that can be coded on an Android device/Desktop (3D surface plots, waterfall charts, thermal distributions etc ), are far more advanced than what one can expect from a reasonably priced oscilloscope. If the same needs to be achieved with an ordinary scope, a certain level of technical expertise is expected from the user who must interface the oscilloscope with a computer, and write their own acquisition & visualization app.
  • Reduce the entry barrier for advanced experiments.: All the tools are tightly integrated in a cost-effective package, and even the average undergrad student that has been instructed to walk on eggshells around a conventional scope, can now perform elaborate data acquisition tasks such as plotting the resonant frequency of a tuning fork as a function of the relative humidity/temperature. The companion app is being designed to offer varying levels of flexibility as demanded by the target audience.

  • Is there a doctor in the house? With the feature set available in the PSlab , most common electronic components can be easily studied , and will save hours while prototyping new designs.  Components such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, Op-amps, LEDs, buffers etc can be tested.

How can PSLab help science enthusiasts ?

Physicists, Chemists and biologists in the applied fields are mostly dependent on instrument vendors for their measurement gear. Lack of an electronic/technical background hinders their ability to improve the gear at their disposal, and this is why a gauss meter which is basically a magnetometer coupled with a crude display in an oversized box with an unnecessarily huge transformer can easily cost upwards of $150 . The PSLab does not ask the user to be an electronics/robotics expert , but helps them to get straight to the acquisition part. It takes care of the communication protocols, calibration requirements, and also handles visualization via attractive plots.

A physicist might not know what I2C is , but is more than qualified to interpret the data acquired from a physical sensor, and characterize its accuracy.

  • The magnetometer (HMC5883L) can be used to demonstrate the dependence of the axial magnetic field on distance from the center of a solenoid
  • The pressure,temperature sensor (BMP280) can be used to verify the gas laws, and verify thermodynamic phenomena against prevalent theories.

Similarly, a chemist can use an RGB sensor (TCS3200) to put the colour of a solution into numbers, and develop a colorimeter in the process. Colorimeters are quite handy for determining molality of coloured solutions., and commercial ones are rather expensive. What it also needs is a set of LEDs with known wavelengths, and most manufacturers offer proper characterisation information.

What does it mean for the hobbyist?

It is capable of greatly speeding up the troubleshooting process . It can also instantly characterize the expected data from various sensors so that the hobbyist can code accordingly. For example, ‘beyond what tilt threshold & velocity should my humanoid robot swing its arms forward in order to prevent a broken nose?’ . That’s not a question that can be easily answered by said hobbyist who is currently in the process of developing his/her own acquisition system.

How can we involve the community?

The PSLab features an experiment designer that speeds acquisition by providing spreadsheets, analytical tools, and visualisation options all in one place. An option for users to upload their new experiments/utilities to the cloud, and subject those to a peer-review process has been planned. Following which , these new experiments can be pumped back into the ecosystem which will find more uses for it, improve it, and so on.

For example , a user can combine the waveform generator with an analog multiplier IC, and develop a spectrum analyzer.

The case for self-reliance

The average undergraduate laboratory currently employs dedicated instruments for each experiment as prescribed by the curriculum. These instruments often only include the measurement tools essential to the experiment, and students merely repeat the procedure verbatim. That’s not experimentation, it’s rather just verification. PSLab offers a wide array of additional instruments that can be employed by the student to enhance the experiment with their own inputs.

For example, a commonly used diode IV curve-tracer kit usually has a couple of power supplies, a voltmeter, and an ammeter. But, if a student wishes to study the impact of temperature on the band gap, he will hard pressed for the additional tools, and software to combine the acquisition process. With the PSLab, however , he/she can pick from a variety of temperature sensors (LM35, BMP180, Si7021 .. ) depending on the requirement, and explore beyond the book. They are thus better prepared to enter research labs .

And in conclusion , this project has immense potential to help create the next generation of scientists, engineers and creators.