This past weekend I participated in the Austin Diversity Hackathon hosted by Women Who Code – ATX.  I pitched an app to make a nature journal for pre-literate children.   This idea came about because my son, Eli, is 4 years old and loves to go on nature walks and collects rocks, leaves, and flowers as we go on our walks.  I don’t like finding rocks in the laundry machine all the time 😂 and I don’t like that he disrupts nature for his collection, so an app that a child could use and didn’t require a cell phone or wifi connection.  I had one person join me, Gabby, and she was the designer for the app and I was the programmer.

The repo for this project can be found at

I was able, in 1.5 days, to get the initial table view, adding something to your collection, add a camera, video, or add a photo from your photo library and also record an audio file (pre-literate kids can’t write either!) and play the audio file back.

We didn’t win any prizes, but I got some serious work done and I’m already planning on my next app!  I wasn’t planning on going to this, as I was convinced I wouldn’t win.  I didn’t win 🤣 but it turns out that wasn’t what I found to be the point of this weekend – it was about doing something I didn’t know I could do.

There’s a lot left to do but I’m excited what else I can do to make this app amazing for Eli to use.  I plan on putting it on the app store soon.  🎉

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