Light the Hoan invites students to ‘Code the Hoan’

New initiative to teach Milwaukee area students STEM skills

The Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge in Milwaukee.
The Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge in Milwaukee.

Last updated on December 4th, 2019 at 12:38 pm

You’ve heard of Light the Hoan, but now Milwaukee-area students will “Code the Hoan” with a new initiative focused on teaching STEM skills.

Light the Hoan is partnering with local programs and organizations to provide students with STEM education, the groups announced in a press release Tuesday.

With Code the Hoan, students will understand the technology behind the Hoan Bridge’s lighting system through a series of learning modules. The creation and customization of user interfaces and programming will allow students to design lighting schemes and custom “choreography” to program the Hoan Bridge Lights.

“Code the Hoan has aligned and unified the STEM education community in Milwaukee in a unique way,” said Michael Hostad, co-founder of the Light the Hoan effort.  “This project is about more than lights on a bridge and it is inspiring tech and coding talent because it brings coding to life in a beautiful, artistic and visible way for students and young people.”

Light the Hoan is a community effort aimed at illuminating Milwaukee’s Hoan Bridge. The group launched a public crowd sourcing campaign in May of 2018 to raise $4 million to light the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge, which spans nearly two miles across Interstate 794.

The Light the Hoan Campaign has raised nearly $2 million so far, but campaign leaders say the project will be completed in time for the Democratic National Convention in July of 2020.

Code the Hoan will also give Milwaukee School of Engineering students a chance to work with industry professionals on meaningful real-world projects in their courses. Through an 88Nine Radio Milwaukee partnership, students will meet with local Milwaukee musicians and develop a bridge lighting design to sync with a song of his or her choice, according to the press release.

Light the Hoan is currently partnered with Islands of Brilliance, the Boys & Girls Clubs, Discovery World, MSOE, Philips Signify, SHARP Literacy, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.

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Brandon Anderegg
Brandon covers startups, technology, banking and finance. He previously worked as a general assignment and court reporter for The Freeman in Waukesha. Brandon graduated from UW-Milwaukee’s journalism, advertising and media studies program with an emphasis in journalism. He enjoys live music, playing guitar and loves to hacky sack.