REACH Student Hackathon 2021

Thank you for joining us in 2021, check out this space for more updates in 2022.

As part of Xylem Ignite, Xylem’s initiative to build a strong network of passionate student leaders and empower them to drive real changes in the water industry, REACH Hackathon is back! Look forward to exciting problem statements, webinars, mentorships, participation kits and of course, a total of $15,000 in prizes, all for free!

Happening virtually from the 6th to 10th October, participants will be presented with several problem statements relating to water, which they will have to come up with a creative solution for.

Join Xylem in learning about and solving water!

Why join REACH Student Hackathon 2021?

You get:

  • Knowledge and awareness of water issues
  • Educational webinars & mentorship by Xylem employees
  • An opportunity to join in the efforts to solving the world’s greatest challenges
  • Free participation kits delivered to your address
  • A chance to win cash prizes totaling about 15,000 USD

Registration Criteria

In order to participate in the Xylem REACH Student Hackathon 2021, you must be

Between 13 and 25 years of age

You can register:

  • Individually
  • In teams of 4
  • As a member seeking a team

Registration is open until 6th October, 12pm EST.

*Registrants must be enrolled or enrolling into a high school or university according to the track they are competing in.

Choose between Tracks:

1 NUMBER 1.jpg



All timings are in EST

6th October

12pm Registrations close
7pm Opening Ceremony
Masterclass videos made available

7th October

Sustainability Webinar & Watermark For Youth activities announcement

8th October

Careers in Water panel
Christine Boyle, Beth Mussari, Gus Vieweg, Chung Man
Advanced technologies in water
Brandon O’Daniel

10th October

12pm Submission Deadline

24 - 27 October Xylem REACH Conference Winning Projects Announced!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is the venue or event platform?
    The hackathon is held virtually and open to the global audience. Discord will be the primary messaging platform used for communications while Zoom will be used for the Kickoff ceremony as well as webinars throughout the event.
  2. Does participation cost anything?
    Nope, participation is completely free!
  3. Are there prizes?
    Yes, there are prizes for both the High School and University tracks respectively. The 1st prize comes at 4,000 USD, followed by 2,000 USD for the second prize and 1,000 USD for the third.
  4. What is the challenge statement?
    Challenge statements will only be announced after the start of the hackathon in order to ensure a fair start to all participants. Participants may expect 3-4 challenge statements by Xylem & partners that target real-world water issues.
  5. Who is Xylem?
    Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to solving critical water and infrastructure challenges with innovation. Our more than 16,000 diverse employees delivered revenue of $4.88 billion in 2020. We are creating a more sustainable world by enabling our customers to optimize water and resource management and helping communities in more than 150 countries become water-secure.
  6. What is Xylem Ignite?
    Xylem Ignite is a global youth initiative that seeks to build a strong network of passionate student leaders and empower them to drive real changes in the water industry.
  7. Who is allowed to participate?
    The high school track is open to students enrolled in high school, secondary school, pre-university and equivalent, including those graduating in the spring or summer of 2021. The university track is open to students enrolled in college/university bachelor’s programs, community college, vocational schools, coding bootcamps and other post-secondary schools or equivalent. Post-graduate students do not qualify for the university track.
    Participants must be at least 13 years of age and no older than 25 years of age at the time of registration to participate.
    If a participant is under 18 years of age, a Parent/Guardian Consent & Release form is required. This will be sent to the Parent/Guardian contact email you provide during the registration process. Failure to do so will end in disqualification of participation from the REACH Hackathon 2021.
  8. Do I have to know how to code to join?
    You do not need to know how to code! Projects can explore the development of a product, software, system or business strategy to address the challenge statements. Participants do not need to be developers unless they want to develop a coding-based project. The only requirement is that you submit a project that addresses the challenge statement and meets our deliverable requirements.
  9. What team size is allowed?
    You may sign up individually, in a team of 4, or as an individual seeking a team.
  10. How do I find a team?
    Teams can be formed ahead of time with people you know (teams of 4 only). We will be providing space on Discord in the beginning of the event for participants seeking a team to network and form their teams with others. Forming a team with multiple members that can serve the roles of design, user experience, business development and technology development is a great way to go, depending on the project you choose. Otherwise, you may also choose to participate as an individual.
  11. Can I have both high school and university students in my team?
    Unfortunately, the answer is NO. We decided that in order to keep the level of competition fair and to simplify the registration process and legal requirements, each team has to consist entirely of just HS or University students - not a combination of the two.
  12. What are the deliverables I need to submit for my project?Project submissions will consist of a video demo of no more than 5. It should demonstrate understanding of the problem, the approach taken, complexity of solution developed, and implementation/impact.
  13. What tools or technology can I use? Can I use third-party APIs?Yes, you can use any program or technology to develop your project. Projects can be a technical solution, a business solution, a community or policy solution, or a combination of the three, depending on your skills and interest! If you need help figuring out what tools to use, you are encouraged to work with our mentors.
  14. How can I interact with mentors?
    We will have a Discord setup for all event communications. Instructions on how to register an account will be provided.
  15. What will my submission be judged on?
    Your submission will be judged on creativity, innovation, implementation, and potential impact.
  16. Do participants need to know English?
    Yes, the event will be held in English.