This weekend students at UNCW are getting the chance to use their programming skills outside the classroom. The university’s second annual “Internet of Things (IoT) Hackathon” is driving up some very cool inventions.

The program is designed to help UNCW students come together to help create technical solutions for various problems while making important connections.

“They get to work with the mentors and see how they would approach the projects. So they get some of the stuff they have in class they get to apply it to those projects that we’ve given them,” UNCW’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization Coordinator, Chris Krumm said.

Students get the chance to work with mentors representing different technology firms across Wilmington. This gives students an idea of what it is like to take a project from the initial design, to a concept, then to the final step of building the product.

Student Kelsey Ceitter has been working on developing a drone since the summer.

“Here at the Hackathon we’ve got some students who are helping me design the pump system that’s going to be taking the water samples,” Ceitter said.

The purpose of this program is to focus on two areas of research, Marine Science and Biotechnology. Ceitter’s idea to build a drone to collect water samples is a perfect example of the programs focus.

“The end all goal for the drone is to have a easy way to take multiple water samples quickly, efficiently in the Cape Fear Region,” Ceitter said. “It’ll be in the Cape Fear River out in Masonboro Inlet around oyster farms and other water bodies in the area that are being researched, studied, or monitored.”

Ceitter’s invention to help speed of the process of collecting water samples is just one of many great ideas in the works at UNCW. Ceitter hopes with help from other students this weekend she can have her drone up and running by the end of next year.

“The Internet of Things Hackathon” runs through Sunday. For more information on the program, got to https://www.wwaytv3.com/2017/11/17/uncw-student-creating-drone-to-collect-water-samples/