Light the Hoan invites students to ‘Code the Hoan’

New initiative to teach Milwaukee area students STEM skills

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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.

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“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.

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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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